Tesco: brave or stupid?

A more professional one this.

I’m barely competent to comment on Tesco’s communications as I’ve never advised a consumer facing company and am a capital markets, natural resources and emerging markets expert. BUT I am paid to advice corporations and individuals on their reputation management, and taking the risk of associating your brand with porn raised a titter or two (“you’ve got to raise a titter or two”) in the office and made me think a little.

Tesco is fronting a campaign the cut food waste and demonstrate the entire value chain for food. A noble aim, even if it is to get over the horse meat scandals of this year.

However, the tag line, catch phrase, call it what you will for this is “Love Every Mouthful”

I dare you not to snigger. I double dare you mofo. To put it in twitter language, #LoveEveryMouthful

My industry is incredibly conservative. Because of the constant need to protect “Permission to Operate” or the valuation of an investment, none of my clients would have taken he risk of linking their brand to porn. Amusingly enough on the same day the PM is trying to ban porn in the UK.

So what’s my view on this? Well it’s trending on twitter above the royal baby. The ads are great. Yes, of course there’s some pretty rough associations, some of which I wouldn’t want Aidan to understand or see as they are pretty graphic.

The main thing however is that the campaign makes intellectual sense. So it’s got a silly line to stick in your head. So there’s a nudge nudge wink wink angle to this. Big Deal.

At the heart of this campaign, there is a need for us all to understand the value chain of food. when i was a post grad War Studies student, there were credible academics that thought the next big war would be fought over access to water and basic foodstuffs. We should not be throwing away food.

So congrats to Tesco and its comms agencies, and thanks for giving us all in the office such a good laugh. As a journalist I’ve known for a long time and is far more influential than me said, “good move, but brave move”. As he’s consumer business editor at a national broadsheet, fair enough to give the victory to Tesco.

It’s still filthy though.


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