Watching the Swabians

Years ago, RIM – who developed the Blackberry and changed the world of mobile phones and email – carried out observational research on its core users. By just watching what Blackberry junkies did, they worked out that it was more than just a nifty way to keep in touch while out and about. This redefined the role played by Blackberry. … Continue reading


WO68 winners

Well, the brief was to hit the big German snack Kinder Schokolade straight between the eyes and this case study group did precisely that. So much so that the packaging looks a little bit similar to the strategic competitor it’s taking on. If the waves in the lower section of the pack are protected, or the concept with the smiling … Continue reading

Unfortunately, we all saw this

Posters for all people

Posters are perhaps one of the most public forms of advertising. You can buy individual poster sites or whole packages matched exactly to your target group, from mothers shopping at superstores to hip city dwellers foraging for fashion – but also even B2B audiences making their way from the airport to the trade fair. So when you’re planning the M … Continue reading


One we rue, Weru?

I’m really struggling to say something positive about this press ad I found tucked away in an obscure publication tucked away in a hotel tucked away outside Manchester. Considering it’s for Germany’s leading brand (mentioning that was a plus point), it’s appalling. Who wrote it? Where? Who approved it? Ok, good practice (all right, one more plus point): a reference … Continue reading


Flavour of the month

This year, the hey-be-cool food and beverages trend in Germany has to have been elderberry. It actually got underway in 2012, if not earlier, but in 2013 I think the product life cycle really gathered momentum. Holunder – German for elderberry/elderflower – first caught a wider audience’s imagination in trendy bars with a drink called Hugo, a sparkling wine or … Continue reading


Dirty shirt

I waited with this entry to protect the anonymity of the person who supplied this sketch of a T-shirt. It’s a perfect example of why companies should involve locals in the design of international marketing materials. It was produced by the BMW company in 2010 to coincide with the World Cup in South Africa. Unfortunately, as has happened in other … Continue reading


A name to kill for

Coming back to my earlier topic about naming brands and the semantics of words, I’d like to thank Florian not just for keeping his eyes peeled and continuing to ‘think marketing’ many moons after attending my course, but also for sharing this example with us. Over in China, Florian spotted a shower gel pack that many Germans will be familiar … Continue reading


WO67 case study winners

Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that look like market winners. The latest Marketing case study was won by the group that came up with ChocCake. The brief was to attack a leading brand and you should guess which one it was when I reveal their slogan: “Have a BETTER break, Have a ChocCake”. The new product also nibbled away at … Continue reading


The Procter umbrella

Having observed Unilever gradually limber up to umbrella branding in 2008 and 2009, on pack and on TV, I have to admit I almost overslept P&G diving in at the deep end last year and declaring its huge portfolio presence. By the time the London Olympics happened in 2012, P&G were openly declaring their identity behind a myriad of brands … Continue reading

A boring attempt to attract new customers?

Strong, pink, strange…

The German discount supermarket Lidl has been selling a limited edition drill in the UK, in PINK. I’m trying to get my mind round this most basic kind of segmentation, men versus women. OK, they’ve worked out there’s a new kind of emancipated DIY enthusiast out there – women. So it could be potential new business by stretching the target … Continue reading


Maybe it’s over

Continuing the recent theme regarding the English prefix Mc and its use in German brands, let’s zap to England. I’m not sure how, but the German prefix über (‘over’, as in Übermensch, the etymological root of superman) crept into English a couple of years ago. Its use is the same. So a person can be uber-cool, uber-careful, etc. Pronounce it … Continue reading