Magazine article Marketing

I'm as Close as I Ever Wish to Get to My Shaving Gel

Magazine article Marketing

I'm as Close as I Ever Wish to Get to My Shaving Gel

Article excerpt

Relationships are all the rage in marketing. Last week there was an IPA/ISBA 'summit' on the client-agency relationship, and the chairman of Unilever recently warned us that we must all get ready for a new digital age of one-to-one interactive relationships with our consumers. So now we all need a relationship-marketing strategy.

I turned for some advice to that cunningly named book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus which is subtitled A practical guide for improving communications and getting what you want in your relationships - and found that the whole male gender are terrible at relationships.

Men, it transpires, are different from women. "A man's sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results" while "a woman's sense of self is defined through her feelings and the quality of her relationships."

Men, like marketing companies, only go into a relationship wanting to get something out of it. And the cynic might say that women, like advertising agencies, are quite happy to burble on about relationships while achieving nothing.

Recently, we wrote a script for the video release of Fever Pitch. A man and a woman were arguing. "It's a film about football," says the man, "It's a film about relationships," says the woman. The argument was resolved by calling it "A film of two halves". Then we had a real-life argument and the (male) client agreed the strategy but chose to go for a more traditional sequence of clips from the movie in order to get better sales results.

Managing the client-agency relationship is tricky enough, but will packaged-goods manufacturers really be able to manage millions of one-to-one relationships? …

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