Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Champagne, Roses and Marmite?

Last year, around St. Patrick's Day, I picked up a jar of limited edition Guinness flavoured Marmite at the supermarket. Needless to say, it remains unopened and not just because of the stories at the time that you could sell it on e-Bay for twice what you paid. Today, I hear that they are trying a similar trick for St. Valentine's Day by producing 600,000 jars of Marmite with, wait for it, a hint of champagne.

Yes, they'll earn a lot of media coverage and yes there'll be some extra sales, but I can't help but think that this is a social object that will be talked about because of itself but is too removed both from the original product and from the actual event (who toasts their true love with Marmite anyway?).

It makes perfect sense to associate your wine with Valentine's Day but the sociality of a savoury spread surely lies somewhere else.


Blogger James Cherkoff said...

When my other half makes me Marmite on Toast, it's an act of pure love...

10:56 AM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger Jeff said...

I've never heard of Marmite till I saw this post. What does it taste like?

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1:24 PM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger david Hawksworth said...

It tastes bad! But damn it we have just vindicated all of their marketing for the last 5 years or so by exchanging love and hate for the it in an online discussion. I quite like the way they they are happy to play with the product and the packaging in dramatic ways - it somehow seems to add something that traditional tactics can't but then I don't have to eat the stuff.

1:42 PM, January 10, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

I like the stuff too and he love/hate debate does tie in with their previous positioning, but my question is how long the conversation will last around a Valentine's Day promotion? Playing with the packaging is great, but it needs to be in a different context I think.

3:27 PM, January 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not really going far enough to make it a social object is it ? Doesn't that presuppose some sort of permanency around the discussion / theme ? This is just a gimmick isn't it ?

1:04 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

That's exactly my feeling Tom - and I think there's going to be a lot of them moving forward - the object without the context is prone to being a gimmick.

3:01 AM, January 11, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a cruel world when not even Marmite can be classified as a social object.

I wonder what the marketing director would make of Marmite's not being socially objective.

5:44 AM, January 11, 2008  
Blogger Eaon Pritchard said...

I dunno, it work as a nice savoury alternative to chocolate body paint?

1:53 AM, January 15, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gimmick. Marketing vanity. Will look good in the internal review. Someone somewhere is saying 'good example of best practice' or something equally mangled.

9:15 AM, January 15, 2008  

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