Most of us have by now, I suspect, been exposed to the Ericsson
work in which the Swedish mobile phone company asks consumers to make
The latest version - in the Wall Street Journal Europe - shows an
elderly couple still very much in love. ’It takes a lifetime to say the
things you want to say. Make yourself heard,’ the copy goes. In the
small print we read about how Ericsson has - in its words - ’been
helping people share their thoughts for over 120 years’ and encourages
us to continue doing so. All of which is a bit yukky, not to say wanky.
I have lots of thoughts which, frankly, should never see the light of
day. Similarly there are lots of people out there whose thoughts I don’t
want to share.
But that is to carp. I’m coming round to this campaign gradually because
I admire its ambition. If you strip away the wank, this is a generic
campaign for global communication. Ah, but you say, hasn’t BT done this
before with Bob Hoskins (and with Stephen Hawking)? Yes, but that was
for fixed-line telephones and the power of conver-sation, whereas the
Ericsson campaign is larger in scope because it touches on two
The first is the idea that communication also includes data as well as
The second is that because Ericsson is a mobile phone company, the
communication process is subject to fewer physical restrictions.
What’s particularly interesting is that Ericsson is stepping into the
gap BT could have owned for itself had it only stuck with the generic
work. The point about trying to own a category is that it takes a long
time and, once started, you can’t give up half way. But if you genuinely
want to be a global brand, then ownership of that category becomes
The autobiography of a famous old-time footballer once had a chapter
headed, ’What the average club director knows about football’. The rest
of the page was blank.
After last week’s Newcastle fiasco you could say the same about football
In business and marketing terms, football has come a long way in the
past five years. Too far, too fast, perhaps.
A football club is the ultimate loyalty marketing scheme. However, the
normal loyalty model (eg, the Tesco Clubcard) operates in reverse.
Instead of being rewarded for their loyalty, fans are being punished for
it by being sold even more merchandise at ever-higher prices and with
Mostly, because it’s football, they all get away with it (visited the
Chelsea megastore recently?). It’s not the apparent cynicism that will
do Newcastle in, but the contempt.
Remorseless marketing-driven organisations such as Asda, Tesco and
Procter & Gamble may be ruthless and cynical - but they are never
contemptuous of their customers. As for those that are, well, look at