Tag Archives: Innovation

Dear Braun

braun_logoDear Braun,

Thank you for reminding me that things are not as they seem.

You see, I’d always thought you were called Braun, to rhyme with dawn.

But it turns out you’re called Braun, to rhyme with crown.

Perhaps everybody knew that.

But I didn’t.

I’ve been hearing all about you, but clearly not properly listening to you, all this time.

It’s good to know that we all see, hear and experience the world differently.

Difference is good.

It’s what makes our jobs in talking to people and coming up with things that make their lives that little bit better such fun.

Thanks again





Dear Arla Best of Both

Arla-Best of Both 2ltr-1ltrDear Arla Best of Both,

Thank you for being unashamedly “inspired” by a similar brand in an adjacent category. And for demonstrating that sometimes the simplest and best ideas are in sitting right before our very eyes – or rather just a couple of aisles along down at the supermarket.

Hovis Best of Both

Whilst I may not necessarily like the ad, it certainly does standout – which is no bad thing when launching a new proposition…just ask Barry Scott over at Cillit Bang.

Arla_ad_1200Thank you for showing us how to play to and piggy-back an existing, well, establishing unit of meaning –¬† in the form of the Best of Both descriptor, which directly leverages all the hard work that Hovis have done establishing their Best of Both sliced-bread proposition.

And thank you for creating a potential new code with the Yellow cap. It remains to be seen whether you can make it yours and yours alone…or whether the proliferation of colours (purple or orange for the, albeit multi-brand, 1% Fat milk) will prove to be too much for consumers.

The One - Purple Top

Thanks again


Dear Marmite

Marmite - Moustache - PolarisingDear Marmite,

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in a spot of flippancy with your #LoveItHateItNameIt personalised pot promotion.

It turns out that moustaches, like you, are polarising.

Marmite - LoveitHateitPersonaliseitThank you for reminding me that polarisation is a good thing, to be sought and championed, at the expense of lowest common denominator positioning which, by seeking to appeal to everybody, ends up failing to motivate anybody.

For brands, the middle-ground is often the most treacherous. No danger for you, as featured in a previous blog here.

I should also acknowledge the wise-words of a former client, Alan Martin, who once told me, “When you hear the word “polarising” in a debrief, sit up and listen…because something interesting is going on.” Amen.

Marmite Limited EditionsAnd thank you for not only being the kings of limited edition innovation, but also senior royalty when it comes to licensing. Where others talk, it appears that you do.

Low cost, incremental, big impact, new-news. Lovely.

Marmite Rice CakesThanks again

Ned – http://mobro.co/nedc

(Only 5 days to go!)

Dear Three

Dear Three,

Thank you for Please Spam Responsibly #holidayspam…despite not being a sophisticated, or even engaged, social media user (especially on holiday), it makes me smile every time I see it.

The combination of Social Proof (one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 key principles of influence), and the satirising of both social media behaviour and language (tanningfails and #livelikealocal) brilliantly bring to life what could have been a fairly functional claim.

Three - use your phone abroadNow I don’t know whether or not that’s a genuine point of difference, representing a truly innovative aspect of your overall service package and pricing plan (vs. EE, Vodafone, O2 etc)…but because you’re claiming it in such a differentiated way, it might as well be. It’s what people will remember you for.

And thank you for casting Michael Buerk to do the voice over. What a perfect choice, given his newscaster and 999 history. He delivers his lines brilliantly.

As he did in this wonderful, much written, complained and probably tweeted about ad from Marmite:

Thanks again






Dear Amazon

Dear Amazon,

Thank you for changing the way we watch TV. The re-invention of any category for the benefit of the consumer is always highly pleasing to see.

Not only do we get to watch what we want, when we want, but we also now get to choose what gets made? Wow.

More prison-escape stuff please. Fewer vampires. If you don’t mind.

In fact hang-on.

Your taking this “tailored-for-me” thing to a whole new level. I can get my very own show made too?


Also, thanks for reminding me of the principle that brand architecture should help your consumers and hinder your competitors.

I get it that the natural tendency when innovating and creating new categories is to create new brands – or sub-brands in your case – to show that you’ve got something new.

For sure, you need a signpost to the shiny new toy. But right now, I’m just a little bit confused.

Whereas over on the other channel – who I should also be thanking in the same way I’m thanking you – I pretty much know what’s what.

Thanks again.



Dear Aerolatte

Aerolatte Logo

Dear Aerolatte,

Thank you for your “world-famous, award-winning, best-selling, original steam-free milk frother” – it’s making my new-for-February-waste-fewer-resources-i.e.-time-and-money-at-Costa initiative a deliciously satisfying synch.

AerolatteThank you for being a stand out example of kitchen-gadgetry.

I love kitchen gadgets because two things that I enjoy experiencing – genuine innovation (i.e. the solution to an unsatisfactorily met need) and design (mechanical, ergonomic and aesthetic) – so regularly come together in a highly pleasing fashion. ¬†Just take apple corers…

Apple Corer

apple corer 2 apple-slicer-corer

Of course, many kitchen gadgets fail to live up to their promise and are in the back of the cupboard before you can say “Yes chef” – but a quick inspiration-safari to a Kitchenware store before an ideation workshop never fails to deliver a couple of starter-for-10 ideas.

Thanks again Aerolatte – yummy and Costa-busting frothy decafs all round!



Dear The Guardian


Dear The Guardian,

Thank you for appealing to my weekends-are-for-doing-stuff aspiration and for giving me a right laugh with your latest advert.

Insightful editorial theme for January too.

Of course it’s nice to have nothing planned and to do nothing from time to time, but doesn’t life feel so much better when things are being done, ticks are being added to mental do-list and new challenges are being tackled?

Even if badly. And especially in January

I think so.

And thank you for helping yourself to the emerging cultural code brought to us by Breaking Bad (middle-aged-man-in-white-underpants-with-shoes-still-on) to convey Ian’s chaotic unravelling.

Walter White Underpants

Walter would be proud.

Thanks again