Deadly sales promotion in China

In The Netherlands I am professionally admiring and personally wondering the effects of massive sales promotional campaigns. For a few euro’s people are willing to stand in line for hours (rain doesn’t matter) and fight with fellow shoppers for the few items on sale. Recently we could see this happening (again) at H&M and De Bijenkorf. How different in China! Three people died and 31 were injured in a stampede triggered by a sales promotion at a Carrefour outlet on Nov. 10 in the country’s southwestern Chongqing Municipality. The three-day promotion at a hypermarket in the city’s Shapingba District was launched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the French retail giant’s entry into the city. Time limited sales are now forbidden in China…

When brands collide… message from Unilever

It was only a matter of time that someone, somewhere would address this: the difference in brand positioning of Dove and AXE. Both brands owned by Unilever. Dove’s campaign – highly awarded, much appraised – focus on real beauty and take a stand against the cliché image of the beauty industry. While AXE thrives on male hormones and pictures women the way that Dove is protesting against… The mash-up that is on YouTube today was made by Rye Clifton and boosted into the Blogoshere by Paul Isakson (see comments). Campaign (trady) picked it up and the Blogoshere is buzzing.

In fact this is just a modern brand dilemma: how do big corporations manage their different brands? And while communication nowadays is layered with ‘real’ stories: how do these stories relate to each other. It cannot be denied that AXE and Dove communicate on either sides of the same scale. Unilever as brand-owner didn’t make a comment on this issue (yet). AXE is ‘helping young men in the mating game’, while Dove helps ‘women to release their inner beauty’. Quotes are from the Unilever corporate website. While both brands can do their thing in splendid isolation, the corporation can be accused of speaking with a double tongue and for being not genuine or honest. This can boomerang to all other brands. One thing this issue makes clear: splendid isolation doesn’t exist any more. The web/blogoshere is doing it’s transparency-thing again…