Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.

Marmite seems to be everywhere at the moment. And while that’s a pretty horrifying prospect for haters of the savoury spread, which is oozing to world domination like a cheap Doctor Who villain, you’ve got to hand it to the Unilever marketing goons.

Last month Kimm & Miller’s Marmite chocolate became the latest addition to a growing portfolio that already included crisps and rice crackers. (Incidentally, The Grocer recently took a close look at why some extensions flourish and others are strangled at birth.)

And while getting hijacked by the BNP proved that not all publicity is good publicity, Unilever made the best of an unfortunate situation (one not of its own making) by slapping down the morons pronto.

Today the brand unveiled its latest pun-tastic marketing stunt – a £15,000 stone monument in its Burton-upon-Trent hometown, dubbed the Monumite.

Yes, it’s gimmicky and is unlikely to make Burton-upon-Trent the site of massed pilgrimages for the legions of Martians (as fans of the spread might like to be called, or might not).

But like the vast box of Kellogg’s Cornflakes erected by the M4 and Cadbury’s ultra-ambitious Spots versus Stripes campaign, it’s another sign that manufacturers are looking beyond the increasingly traditional online realm to the actual, right here in front of you, real world. Revolutionary stuff.

People have complained that the planet is shrinking ever since the invention of the horseless telegram in 1847. But while the past couple of years have been all about Facebook campaign groups and rappers on YouTube, the non-virtual world remains a big place.

Now the marketers are waking up to that – like it or not.

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