My one new year’s resolution for the world: no more artisan crisp launches please. Just because you can grow potatoes on your farm (and is there a farmer who can’t?) it doesn’t make you a marketing genius. We’ll happily take your money to develop the branding, design the pack, launch the range and promote you as the saviour of crisps, farming or both. But you won’t sell any.
If I seem less than overflowing with post-festive bonhomie, it’s because Karoline (with a K) is back, late, from a skiing holiday in Klosters with her social media guru. This is less exclusive than it sounds. Thomson goes to Klosters, and there are more social media gurus in London than traffic wardens. She wants to reinvent Puff & Fluff as ‘a content company’. “It’s what we’ve been doing for years darling, except we called it PR,” she explains. I suppose anything that’s a poke in the eye to social media agencies, who have suddenly discovered ‘content’ as if it were new, is a good thing. The social media world is entirely made up of charlatans who confuse clients with tech-speak and frighten them into paying a fortune for ultimately pointless activities. So PR should be able to steal its clothes with alacrity.
Maybe I’m a bit hungover. If Majestic sales were up 5.1%, I reckon I was responsible for the 0.1. Though Karoline could claim the five. I do need a drink to blot out the image of Ainsley Harriott relaunching the eternally doomed Change4Life campaign by talking about “hidden nasties” in our food. Ainsley, you’re (supposed to be) a chef. They’re called ingredients.
One late 2013 prediction: Morrisons’ attempts to launch online will turn out to be a bit like Splash on ITV. Briefly amusing, ultimately cackhanded.