Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Endangered Species?

Port Lympne and Howlett's are two remarkable wild animal parks in South-East England devoted to saving rare and endangered animals and returning them to protected areas in the wild. They are miraculous places created by the late John Aspinall who would famously sit with his young children in the gorilla enclosure and if you're in the country, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Thus, I was mortified today to see a television advertisement for Port Lympne that majored on the phrase "The African Experience." No, no , no. If you take a ride round the grounds you will have the "experience" of seeing wild African animals not in Africa but in the Kent countryside. The Kent countryside is wonderful but it is not, nor will it ever be, the Serengeti and while we currently share droughts, we do so in name only and the climates will never be confused.

In Africa, you smell the myriad scents of the tropics, in Kent we detect the unmistakable whiff of the lesser-spotted branding expert trying to perpetrate what I term the branding myth. If only it were branding experts who were the endangered species.


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