Not a bag for life? I don't get it...
I was on the train into London on Friday morning and noticed a chap with a plastic carrier bag. It was a festive plastic bag - snow scene of graphic style village - we've all seen festive plastic bags before, so no surprises there. The main brand was Phones 4 U - and then the tag line was .... A bag for xmas not for life! As soon as I saw this my immediate response was one of 'questionning' - so I had a little think about it - was there a clever little message in there that I was missing? Bag for Xmas - not for life...? Hmmm.... But no - I quickly ascertained that this ridiculous posturing is just really poor marketing.
Questions to the Phones 4 U marketing team - where did that idea come from and what possible positive brand associations were you looking to achieve?
Was it really as ridiculous as someone saying - "hey, there are so many bags for life out there messages - let's look 'edgy' and different by clearly stating that our bags are just for Christmas?" - oh dear.
Message for the Phones 4 U marketing team - it's totally put me off your brand, irresponsible message, ridiculous and trying too hard. If there was any purpose - then I'm missing it. It's just left me with negative brand associations for you guys... the bags looked great - you just should have left the message off them.
I was totally impartial to your brand before - no negative associations at all - so no reason why I wouldn't have wondered into your store. Now I have some emotional response with your brand - but it's not positive. That's not great marketing is it. Or perhaps that was the intention - targeting those that find recycling and efforts to reduce wastage 'dull' and futile? Who knows.
It just goes to show the power of words. A real example as to how businesses and brands need to be careful of what they say - trying to be 'edgy' or even attempting dry humour can often be misconstrued and set the brand on the road to negative associations.
For more marketing news, view, ideas and tips visit my blog http://www.carvillcreative.co.uk/blog
Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.