Lazy marketing

It’s Friday afternoon and sometimes at the end of a long week I get a bit grumpy, so I’m conscious this could just be a rant, but I’ve actually been meaning to comment on this subject for a while, so here goes.
I’ve worked in marketing for nearly 26 years now, and in that time I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to work with some very talented people on some fantastic brands and projects. I love good marketing (even for products and services I’m not interested in), I sigh with disappointment when I see or read something that doesn’t quite work, but I get angry when I see lazy marketing.
Laziness isn’t about the size of the budget, or the creative talent; it’s just taking the easy option, riding on someone else’s work and trying to get something for nothing. Worst of all, it effectively says that the target consumer just wasn’t worth the effort, or isn’t smart enough to notice that we didn’t bother to do anything original.
At the moment we’re surrounded by lazy marketing – you can’t move in the supermarket for brands that have suddenly decided they need to bring out their ‘Britishness’ – Union Jacks abound and we’re being reminded that they have been here for at least 60 years too. Now I think I’m as patriotic as the next person, but I’m really not going to change my grocery brands of choice because they changed the pack colours to red, white and blue.
I noticed the other day that a leading yogurt brand has introduced a limited edition British Classics 6 pack to it’s range with the Union Jack flag on the pot lid. When you consider that the brand name has an umlaut over one of it’s vowels, it struck me as a bit odd, even allowing for the Germanic origins of the House of Windsor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-European, I love food from overseas and I really like some of the products this company produces; it just left me feeling like someone ran out of ideas and took the easy option.
It’s always easier in the short term to follow the crowd or go for the lowest common denominator, but in the long run, brave, pioneering and truly creative work stands out and builds a brand that consumers are attracted too.
Take it easy – or not?