Monthly Archives: September 2010

Dear Nestea

Dear Nestea,

Thank you for being the perfect French holiday drink – for the occasions when Adelscott is not appropriate.

I wish the Brits were a bit more broad minded and were able to see you as more than “hot tea gone cold”, like the rest of the world does, but in the meantime, I’ll just have to enjoy you when I’m abroad.


PS – And thanks for supporting Beach Volleyball, my 9th most favourite sport for watching on TV.


Dear Adelscott

Dear Adelscott,

Thank you for being the perfect French holiday beer.

I know that, despite appearances, you only came into existence in 1982 and that you’re made by the same team that in 1995 came up with Desperados (a tequila flavoured “Mexican” beer that’s brewed in France – and apparently is the 4th largest beer in the market and is sold in over 50 countries).

I suspect that beer connoisseurs dismiss you, Adelscott, as a “marketing-construct”, but to me (and unlike Desperados I’m afraid), you taste just great…which is what really matters after all…

Thanks for making our holidays in France even more delicious.


Brasserie Fischer

Dear Google SketchUp

Dear Google SketchUp,

Thank you for being amazing and for letting me pretend that I’m an architect and a designer…my limitations in Physics and Maths ability are but a distant memory…

Hitherto, my “3D Modelling” has been inaccurately and painstakingly articulated with squared paper, a ruler, a pencil, a sharpener and, most critically of all, a rubber. But with you, I can knock a sketch together almost instantly – and one that looks half decent too. Now that I can design better, I want to design more…thank you.

You have opened up a world of possibilities for me and as such, you’re helping make your parent’s mission statement (“To make the world’s information universally accessible and useful”) a reality…

And thanks for being FREE…now I want to delve deeper into the world of Google to find out what else is out there – I’m just worried that I’ll find more stuff to chain me to my laptop.


Dear Fever Tree

Dear Fever Tree,

Thank you for showing us that innovation and redefining the category rules is not necessarily about coming up with a radically new (i.e. different) idea, but more often it’s about taking something that already exists, and simply doing it better…in your case, much, much better.

I think you’ve been what my cupboard of dust-gathering  premium spirits brands has been crying out for all this time…Susy Atkins at The Sunday Telegraph has it right when she writes…”Don’t spoil a superior gin by adding a sweet saccharin mixer – track down Fever Tree.”

Thanks Fever Tree.


Dear McCain

Dear McCain,

Thank you for your new “family pride” ad…it’s one of those heart-warming, “feel-good” ads that confirms me, in the words of our antipodean cousins,  “as a total wuss”. (Really, I shouldn’t be quite so moved by DIY SOS (and here on Twitter). Anyway, here’s the new McCain ad:

I love the way that you’ve shifted the positioning away from being about you (and potatoes / chips) , to being about your consumers, whilst remaining true to your truly powerful, global and innovation defining, It’s all Good “big brand idea”. Talk about tapping into one the biggest and most fundamental human drivers (i.e. pride) and clarifying your targeting, in one fell swoop.

Until the final sequence of the new ad, a chip only features once, in the scene with the Dad and his young daughter showing her brick-building dexterity…now that’s “pride in action” and certainly resonates with this Dad. Robert Cialdini‘s principle of Social Proof (one of his 6 universal Principles of Social Influence – the others being: Reciprocation; Authority; Commitment / Consistency; Scarcity; Liking.) certainly seems to be in action here…Not to mention Gordon Gallup Jr‘s famous Mirror Test exploring self-awareness…

So nice job McCain – so much more engaging, for me at least, than your previous campaigns:

That said, I do absolutely love the “Potato Factory” execution, even though “the factory” is an idea that’s been “done”, albeit in many different ways, countless times before (Coca-Cola Happiness Factory, Skoda Fabia Cake Car, Honda – What if?, Honda Cog etc etc) – and it’s about you and not about me!

Thank you for making me think about the journey you’ve been on. I am amused at the thought of the smiles emerging on the ad agency‘s collective faces when it was agreed that the potato / chip no longer had to be the hero of the ad…I can almost hear the whoops of delight as they realised that they were able to move the global It’s all Good “big brand idea” onto the next stage… Or maybe it was just the influence of a new Marketing Director who’s not a fan of musicals.

Thanks McCain – your Sweet Potato with Rosemary and Garlic is now on my shopping list.


Dear brabantia

Dear brabantia,

Thank you for your “soft-touch” bins, for claiming to lock in odours and for being so well made that I believe you…your “solid company” proposition is reassuringly Dutch…”Sscholid kompanii”.

And thank you for your “retro” range of bins which look nicer than your “soft-touch” bins but are not quite as practical I suspect.

And one final thank you for showing us the benefits of “system lock-in” (c.f. Thule, Gillette etc) with your branded bin bags…worth every penny.


Dear Krisk

Dear Krisk,

Thank you for making my most favourite vegetable not only supremely satisfying to grow and deliciously sumptuous to eat, but now (thanks to a recent and long overdue acquisition) also wonderfully elegant and satisfying to prepare…

…Especially compared to the previous nightmare inducing option:

Never in the field of hand-held kitchen utensils, has so much been owed, by so many vegetable growers, to such a  niche brand.

Thank you Krisk.