Posted by Anne-Cecile Bertrand on May 19, 2010
Following up from yesterday’s PR news in The Times we have further good news today: our director Alex Waters has been quoted in this weeks The Grocer commenting on the Young’s partnership deal with GO3 and David Beckham’s brand endorsement.
“Beckham’s presence would succeed in livening up the “bland” frozen category, agreed The Value Engineers director Alex Waters, although he questioned the superstar’s food credentials. “People are now beginning to understand omega-3 is brain food but this is undermined by the link to Beckham, who is more about athletic prowess,” he said. “He has huge pulling power, though, and is still a bankable endorsement for brands.”
Read the full article on The Grocer online.
Posted by Ben Riley-Smith on December 1, 2009
When Gillette announced it had enlisted three heavyweights of the sporting world – Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Thierry Henry – to promote their new Champions campaign back in 2007, it was considered quite a coup. It appeared to be a safe strategy: to prove you are ”the best a man can get”, link yourself with sportsmen who are “the best a man can watch”. Events over the last couple of weeks, however, have highlighted the perilous nature of such sports endorsement.
First there was the ‘Hand of Gaul’ as it has come to be known – Thierry Henry’s cynical handball in the build up to the goal that put France through to the 2010 World Cup Finals at Ireland’s expense. The footballing outcry that followed soon translated into business fears for Gillette. In Ireland many people declared that, with Henry’s cheating invalidating his image as a suitable role model, they would boycott all Gillette products until he was dropped. It wasn’t long before photo-shopped joke ads like this were doing the rounds on office emails….
With all these negative associations of Henry’s handball hurting their own brand, Gillette subtly tweaked some of their communications. As The Sun spotted, on the UK and international Gillette Champions website Henry is pictured next to Federer and Woods holding a football in his left hand. However the French version showed Henry without any football, simply standing with hands in pockets, thereby eliminating any obvious link to his cheating – a perceived point of embarrassment for France. While the move may well have been savvy marketing, it does make you wonder how Gillette will react to Tiger Woods recent mysterious car crash, where his wife used a golf club to smash the windows and drag the unconscious Woods to safety. After all, a golf club is trickier to hide than a football. Maybe they’ll replace it with it with some similarly shaped inoffensive item, like a French baguette.
What Gillette’s most recent debacle really does highlight is the uncertainties underlying any sports endorsement. Struggling frozen food range GO3 have proved how not even endorsement from David Beckham will necessarily prove advantageous if the brand fit is wrong, while swimmer Michael Phelps’ drink driving and alleged drug taking show how squeaky clean appearances should be taken at face value. If a brand really is going to link itself with a breed of people as vain and unchained as famous sportsmen, they’d better be aware of the risks involved…
Posted by Anne-Cecile Bertrand on October 20, 2009
Last week we were asked to comment on two branding stories…
- On McDonald’s plans to refresh its marketing message and its “I’m lovin’ it” expression
- On the decline of the frozen food brand GO3 fronted by David Beckham
Read what Anna Eggleton, Director and Ned Colville, Senior Consultant have to say.