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Why nobody is listening

In the world of consumer research we deal in conversations. We deal in brands that think they are having conversations with consumers but want them to be better, we deal with conversations that are falling on deaf ears, and we deal in how the hell to start having those conversations in the first place.


Pretty straight forward really.


But we all know that anyone working in marketing, or in agencies or anything else that touches a brand has a tendency towards complication & generally takes an alternate path from that of anything vaguely resembling reality. I hold my hands up, I really do, we are all guilty of this.


Sometimes you have to accept who you are and deal with it, and sometimes it is worth taking a hold of yourself.


When working with brands, we all tend to start from a base that imagines that whilst not as excitable as us strange brand-interested folk, our consumer base is certainly at least prepared to give us the time of day.   Come on, who has talked of brand loyalists at some point in the last week?




My thought for today is that we scrap this term from our vocabulary. They do not exist. You have more chance of success if you start each piece of communication with the idea that you have to tell your audience something interesting and as though they are dis-interested.


This is where campaigns like the latest Tesco ad, from Wieden & Kennedy fall down for me. It feels like it has started with the assumption that we all ‘get Tesco’, it is that same basic look & feel as always and the same old ‘every little helps’ strapline. The thing that is missing for me is any attempt to communicate to people, (who from this years sales data are buying less stuff from Tesco), why they should bother with Tesco this Christmas or in fact ever. It feels as though the execution has become the victim of Mr. Shaw’s observation that they have already assumed that the Tesco job is done, they just needed to remind me that they are there.


But why should Tesco or W&K think this? We are all shopping less at Tesco, so holding up a mirror to a normal family Christmas, played to a selection of 80’s New wave classics doesn’t really feel like it’s trying terribly hard to convince me that I should be spending more of my time in their stores.


This is wallpaper. This is communication that is communicating only with itself. As illusions go that is pretty clever, as a piece of advertising it is pretty disappointing.

Tash Walker

Tash Walker

I founded this business not out of passion but out of curiosity. Marketing is dominated by opinion, the opinion of a few Vs. the life experiences of the many. I wanted to know, where the hell was real life in all of this? I do all of this because it is fascinating, because I was told you couldn’t and because I think it is the most important question we have to understand about our society today.

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