Were shoppers paid to ask for Typhoo?


Reports have alleged that someone has offered marketeers cash to contact supermarkets and ask why they no longer stock Typhoo Tea. The idea would be to generate the impression that the brand is much-missed and ought to be returned to shelves immediately. At the moment too much is unknown about this to draw any conclusions.

However, it goes to show there can be more to marketing than meets the eye.
It's worth stating from the outset that there has been no official confirmation of the story, and Typhoo and the marketing company in question have not commented on it, so it would not be fair to assume anything.

All we know so far is that the Daily Mail has reported that Intelligent Marketing Solutions sent an email to field workers, asking them to contact Sainsbury's and ask why they no longer stock Typhoo. They would be paid for each contact, but were not told to identify themselves as marketing staff. The report said there was no indication of who the client might be.

In any case, The Drum reported that the campaign had been put on hold, which could mean this is just a storm in a teacup.

Clever campaigns

However, it's a useful reminder that not all marketing is about sending out press releases and setting up photocalls. There have been some campaigns which have taken more unusual approaches. Here are five of our favourites.

1. Red Bull Space Jump. Felix Baumgartner's world-record-breaking jump from the stratosphere made the vision of a man in a Red Bull space suit and helmet an iconic one.

2. Spiderman 2 urinals. These were placed in men's toilets near the ceiling - only reachable by those who could scale the walls - next to a poster promoting the film.

3. Fitness First. The gym company fitted a seat in a bus shelter with a set of scales, and when people sat on the seat the poster advertised their weight.

4. Coke. When it introduced a new bottle that was meant to be easier to grip, it produced a velcro poster, which attached itself to passers by.

5. In Romania Vodafone hired professionals to slip flyers promoting mobile phone insurance into people's bags, purses and pockets, to show how vulnerable they were.

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