Following on from my blog on the truth about Blue Monday and how it was a marketing gimmick created by Sky Travel to sell more flights during the quiet month of January, I began thinking about what other concepts are actually just marketing gimmicks. So, here are 5 things you didn't realise were marketing gimmicks:
1. The Ploughman's Lunch
The ploughman's lunch is something most pubs serve and something most people associate with the quaint idea of a British village. Yet, the ploughman's lunch is actually nothing more than a marketing gimmick. During the 1950's, cheese stopped being rationed. So, the Cheese Bureau, a marketing body, needed a way to proliferate the sale of cheese. They came up with the ploughman's lunch as a way for pubs to sell more cheese, with the meal based around the dairy product. In the 1960's, the Milk Marketing Board then really gave the ploughman's lunch legs when it began promoting it on a national scale.
2. Father's Day
One of the most common accusations for a lot of holidays in the UK and US is that they were invented by card companies. In the case of Father's Day, it was thought up by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers who needed to sell ties and other clothes during the Great Depression. While Father's Day did exist in Catholicism since the Middle Ages, it was only widely observed after the marketing ploy worked. Hands up if you've ever bought a tie or pair of socks for Father's Day!
3. The Guinness Two-Pour Method
Guinness is just a stout beer invented in Dublin in 1759. Yet, we see it in a realm of its own, almost alongside ale, lager, and cider. Why could that be? Well, perhaps its due to the clever marketing around the product (we all remember the Guinness Rhythm of Life advert, don't we?). The marketing ploy revolved around how you needed to pour the drink twice, when in fact, there is no scientific reason for preparing Guinness any differently to any other stout or beer. This made it seem special and different and not just like another stout.
4. Women Needing to Shave
If you think about it, there is no real difference between a man having hairy armpits and a woman having hairy armpits. The same goes for legs. In fact, in chillier climates, it could be argued that not having hair in these places is detrimental. So, why do women shave? Well, I'm sure by now we can guess as to the reason: marketing! In the 1910's, Gillette decided that underarm hair was objectionable and produced unpleasant odours, so needed to be removed. Like today's Kylie Lip Kits or the need to chisel down our teeth for for veneers, it caught on as a fashion trend. Leg hair followed suit in the 1920's when hemlines began to rise. Get rid of that objectionable leg hair too! This article from 2019 shows just how times have not changed at all.
5. Piers Morgan's Anger Over Gregg's Vegan Sausage Roll
"But how can that be a marketing ploy?" you wonder, flaking pastry over your phone screen as you read this. Gregg's and Piers Morgan both use the PR agency Taylor Herring. The launch of Gregg's vegan sausage roll was a PR coup and recently led to staff members reaping in the bonuses. But, was it all just contrived? Mr Morgan is known for his opinions on everything, but could this attack on Gregg's just be a case of a little friendly fire? Was the anger created in order to drive more attention towards the product launch. Is Piers Morgan himself just a massive marketing ploy? You decide...
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