Sometimes, customers aren’t your audience

I didn’t like the American airlines rebrand campaign

Whilst I didn’t have any issue with the design (then again I also didn’t really have an issue about the Gap rebrand).  I think the colours stay true, it’s a interesting logo and a nice little refresh.

Where I had an issue was with the ads they ran in press.  When I read them, it felt like a gorilla beating its chest looking for a mate.


It used copy like

Inspired by our past, but driven by our future.

Offered no reason to fly with them.  Made no sense to any prospective customer

But then when I pondered on it, the fact was that those ads, and the video below weren’t for the general public.  They weren’t meant to drive new people to try to buy from them, because Marketing 101 tells you that’s not how you do it.  And I can tell you, people don’t pick an airline because its chosen colour scheme.

That means that the ads were meant for two internal audiences; (a) employees and (b) shareholders.  Employees will get a sense of delight of “That’s my company.  That’s the company I help shape and build.” For the shareholders it is more about validating their investment “Look at this great company running advertising to promote itself.  It’s clearly trying to grow its market.  I’m glad I invested.”

So I guess I owe American an apology for being so rash. I’m sorry.

But I’m still not going to fly with you!

Words are no longer enough

How can three presidents say the same thing, spanning well over a decade and yet not have the balls do do anything about it?  How much leverage must one lobby group have for this to happen?

My sister lives in the US, in Connecticut no less and she is having to have conversations with her school about how they can prevent a massacre from happening.

I look across the pond and I think “What fu*king kind of world even contemplates such conversations with primary schools?”.   How is that a school’s responsibility?

They are fighting the wrong problem and promoting the wrong kind of solution.  Teachers carrying guns, bulletproof glass etc won’t stop this from happening again.  The problem isn’t that schools are ill equipped, it’s that there are crazy fu*kers out there who have been allowed to amass an arsenal of weapons for little money and with little fuss.

Guns don’t kill people.  People kill people.  And if you allow every bozo to carry a gun, sooner or later one of them is going to kill someone.  The only solution is to stop them having such easy access – be that through making weapons or bullets more expensive to doing some basic background checks (i.e. has this person been in prison before / do they have a history of mental illness or short temper?).

The right to bear arms is supposed to be about self defence but the types of weapons that are available to purchase are beyond the means of reasonable self defence – they are military weapons that have no place in a modern, civilised society.

The time for talking is over.  The world is watching America.

Hate the game not the player

David Simonds Starbucks 21.10.12Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll no doubt have heard the furore around certain companies not paying what is perceived to be the right amount of tax in the UK.

You can read some of the articles on this from marketing publications here and here.

The crux of the argument seems to central around the morality of making such obscene amounts of money from the tax paying public and then not paying tax themselves.  Whilst I understand that view, the reality is that what they are doing is legal and if we could all afford it, we would do it ourselves.

My view is don’t get pissed at those who abide by the rules, get pissed AT the rules.  If the government really wants these companies to pay tax, it would close these loopholes but it won’t because it gives people jobs and the alternative has such deeper and costlier effects.

So don’t hate blame the companies, blame the politicians.

PS: there is a HUGE amount of irony hearing politicians decry the ‘spirit’ of the law when a few years ago they were affirming their innocence in the expenses scandals where their actions were largely deemed to have been legal.
How much tax is paid by major US companies in the UK?


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