Summer seems worryingly free of shortages so far - as if PR people have forgotten one of the key media-grabbing tactics to deploy when the sun comes out. Ice cream should have run out by now, soft drinks should be on ration and there should not be one electric fan left on sale in London. All the sort of nonsense that helps frightened shoppers give a lift to sales. Karoline (with a K) keeps her own black book of tactics, ensuring we don’t do the same thing for the same client two years in a row. A gap of 18 to 24 months is ideal: the media has forgotten by then and the brand’s marketing team will have changed completely.
There is no limit to how often you can flog some dead horses (insert your own Findus joke here). Look at English wine, which has been the next big thing for at least 30 years, according to K. It may regularly beat Champagne in blind taste tests, and one winery has just have secured £4.3m for expansion, but it’s still a product that nobody I know would actually choose to buy.
In other words, just because you can make something, it doesn’t mean you should. This is the sort of insightful thinking that could earn me a place at the new Unilever Future Leaders’ Training Centre. It’s in Singapore - a rigorously ordered society providing a fitting location for the development of the Sunlight Soap-spawned automata.
I think I’ll stay in the chaotic, free-form world of food and drink PR. As opposed to free-from - a sector rising rapidly on the clever concept that everything is free from something. Cue lots of PR activity promoting self-diagnosis of all sorts of new allergies and intolerances. There will never be a shortage of those.