No Nonsense is Nonsense

John Smith’s have a carefully worked out ‘brand identity’: everything is written in the voice of a “no nonsense” Yorkshireman.

Screenshot of marketing copy from John Smith's.

But the funny thing is this: the idea that they can’t be doing with all that ponced up marketing bullshit… is marketing bullshit. There probably are some “no nonsense” businesses that employ marketing agencies, but we can’t think of any off the top of our heads.

Of course, big food producers (including breweries) have very good reasons to suggest that taking an interest in the taste, ingredients and process of manufacture is pretentious: we, the punters, ought to know our place, viz. buying and consuming without question.

When we asked for information on the ingredients in John Smith’s Extra Smooth (we’ll explain why another time) Heineken customer care (ee, by ‘eck, etc.) told us that it uses “premium malts”. There is definitely a tiny bit of nonsense in that phrase.

While we’re at it, here’s another example of ‘no nonsense’ as a brand value, this time from Newcastle Brown.

7 replies on “No Nonsense is Nonsense”

I have to confess I chuckled at the Newcastle Brown ad but would it make me buy the beer, errrr NO!

Both companies seem to be using an anti marketing campaign for their marketing. Clearly aimed at “old fashioned” folk who don’t really care about “that kind of thing”, which speaks volumes about the type of beer “they drink” don’t you think?

Bill Hicks is usually appropriate for a perspective on ‘BS’ as our transatlantic cousins put it…

“Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.”

It’s when they use the word “character” in their marketing I feel the despair. Because that’s what they do right – removing all character.
I was in *Manchester about twenty years ago and had a few decent pints of Boddington’s. When I tried it last year, they had managed to remove anything remotely interesting from the beer. Quite an achievement.
They should re-brand it The skimmed milk of Manchester.

I can’t stand the beer but I’d stick up for the marketing. What they do very cleverly is have their cake and eat it: I’m not saying I agree with the tasting notes (wot, no wet cardboard?) but by writing the above, they get the tasting notes across to people who care about them, and dismiss them for this who don’t. Their old TV ads used to be the same – they’d use lots of glitzy special effects to attract people’s attention, then take the piss out of those special effects and say they didn’t need them. Sorry, but it is quite clever in a way.

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