29th April 2015 | Ben

Branding, Marketing News, Marketing strategy, Public Relations

Insecurity: A First World problem – and Poldark

Gosh, what a row! What an amusing, engaging, utterly brilliant row! The last row like this took place over the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert (remember? Christmas Truce… chocolate bar…?). 

So, is it good marketing? What do you think? Why do people run a marketing campaign:

  • To introduce a product to a market
  • To generate awareness of a product in a market
  • To sell product
  • To establish brand champions
  • To get people talking about the product

Any of those not ticked off?

Clearly, we’re talking about Protein World; arguing about it, in fact. Few will have missed some form of coverage about this product and company over the last few days, so if you didn’t know about the product before now, most people will know now. Have they sold any product? Hell, yes! (to use a recent badly-placed remark* – now that’s another branding discussion…) They’ve apparently made over £1m in four days in product sales… So, hopefully their claims work and their customers achieve the beach body they’re after… then they become the brand champions. I’ll come back to this point shortly.

Gossard Wonderbra 1994 UK Eva Herzigova: "Hello Boys"

Gossard Wonderbra 1994 UK Eva Herzigova: “Hello Boys”

So as a marketing campaign, I say yes. It is good marketing. It is great marketing. Objectives ticked. Remember Wonderbra…?!

The tag line for Protein World is: Leading the Protein Revolution, so they kind of need to do that, don’t they? And how do you show what protein can achieve, other than the end game?  Marketing is about creating desire in an audience – desire to love or desire to hate is a philosophical discussion (remember Benetton…? Before it became ‘United Colours of’. Google the images…). But ultimately, marketing is about creating the desire for a product or service.

So what next?

So what could they do to continue leading the revolution? They should give us a man. Much talk has been about girls, ladies, women and body image from consultants and feminists. So let’s turn the argument back on itself. Give us a man, Protein World…  In fact, Protein World chaps, I hope you’ve got Aidan Turner lined up for your next poster campaign… (gratuitous Poldark mention – what an excellent sponsorship opportunity that would have been!)

But then what? You have to actually deliver it – or you won’t get repeat business; people will stop talking about your product; and you’ll certainly not see any brand champions stepping up. My point? Your product has to deliver what it says it will.

And this, my friends, is where I see the risk that Protein World is taking. Does their product work? Can they actually deliver a ‘beach body’? Here’s hoping they can… But isn’t that subjective? It must be or they wouldn’t be coming under fire from so many angles.

No matter how much you spend on a marketing campaign, the product has to be worthwhile and do what it promises – or it’s wasted money. All the marketing in the world won’t save a rubbish product. After all, you can’t polish a turd…!(there you go, Ben, I’ve used the picture)

You can't polish a turd...

You can’t polish a turd…

*Ed Miliband – should I bother writing a blog post, do you think?

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