Hush puppies: the question no-one wanted asking

How do you make people sit up and take notice of a brand in a low interest category?   It’s a question with plenty of potential answers, of which ‘let’s get people talking about X’ could be a valid, if tricksy solution, which often flies in the face of the ‘low-interest’ nature of the said product.

If ever a product fell into this category it is toilet paper.   We all need it (bar bidet users) but  I bet you spend precisely a fraction of no time whatsoever thinking about it.   Thus the marketing machine behind Andrex resolved that by hook or crook they would get the nation talking about bog roll.

The solution?   You can imagine the presentation now – we’ve all sat in meetings and heard something similar before.    Let’s start a debate!   On the one side, those who scrunch!   And on the other those who fold!    We’ll make it into a campaign with two sides and start a movement!  Yes, quite literally a bowel movement.

One can only imagine the next stage of the campaign involves people filming ‘their own versions’ and voting with soiled paper in special booths at train stations.

Its the hot divisive topic that no-one has ever debated, least of all via their Facebook page.   It reminds me of the Kingsmill Confessions campaign a few years ago, in which the Great British public were urged to share their ‘sandwich confessions’ with the nation.

There are two simple rules for low interest category brands to adopt if they want people to talk about them for the right reasons.

First is to look to tap into behaviour that people are already doing and talking about.   Scrunch or fold may well be happening right across the country on a daily basis but nothing could be further from social currency.

The second is to think about what your audience actually care about.   Lurpak for example rightly identified that people care about food and cooking a lot more than they do about butter, and have consistently focused on bringing food lovers more of what they enjoy, while the brand enhances its credentials by association.

Whereas with Scrunch or Fold, I suspect that the vast majority of people couldn’t give a s**t.

Posted by Simon Harwood, Planning Director; @sharwoodster


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