Since moving to NZ, I’ve noticed something I never really did while in the UK.
When a new movie is coming out, as an example, you start to notice a range of programming appear on radio and TV which are associated with it. As an example, when Bohemian Rhapsody was released in the cinema, radio stations played noticeably more Queen music and TV shows about Queen and Freddie Mercury were suddenly being aired. I guess there may be several things going on here…
1. TV companies think they will get more viewers if they show associated shows…maybe. The same is true of radio listeners.
2. The showing of those shows (or playing of music) is in some way paid for by the makers of the movie to boost ticket sales. Seems quite probable.
3. The various media channels can up their price for advertising slots during those associated shows. Again, this seems potentially likely.
Sometimes it can be quite nice to revisit prequels on TV just before you want to see the next one in the series (but please no more Jurassic Park films!) but at other times it can be slightly off-putting to be bombarded with messages. You get the same thing happening when artists are coming to play concerts.
I guess this must happen in the UK too but there are so many more media channels that you’re not aware of it as here. It’s pretty transparent.
When you live in a smaller country, a lot of adverts on TV are lower budget as the huge corporations don’t really stand to gain much by advertising (although Coca Cola, McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King and Vodafone do plenty). What you get instead are small budget, local firms…and how they love a random nobody telling you that you should buy something.
Does anyone actually buy a product because someone they’ve never heard of, who is probably a paid actor, says they should? Surely not!
Also, vanity plays a part where company owners think if they appear on the advert then everyone will want to do business with them. No, no, no, it won’t!
And what fills the advertising space when there is no-one else…our friend the infomercial…an advert so desperate that they never tell you the price and after a few weeks they offer two for one…because everyone really needs two blenders, treadmills or step ladders.
Above is a ridiculous thing. It isn’t new news by any means but in New Zealand is a company called Sanitarium who make products called Weetbix and Marmite. In the UK is a company who make Weetabix and another who make Marmite (I wouldn’t be surprised if the UK products are older but I’m not sure). These products are not the same by content but do equate to a wheat-based biscuit cereal and a yeast extract spread.
Why am I telling you this? Because Sanitarium feel so threatened by these two big UK brands that they won’t allow Weetabix to be sold while clearly named on the packet…and in the spirit of free market economics, the NZ system allows them to disallow the sale of a brand which clearly looks and sounds different (Weetbix are sold in a big blue box and are square in shape). Absurd! Unilever, who own Marmite in the UK, retail their product as “Our Mate” here instead. Somebody somewhere must think consumers are stupid.
It makes me a little suspicious of Sanitarium as a brand when they behave in such anti-competitive, odd ways…although I can’t say I have issues with their products. They even tried to take a small UK importer to court over it. Madness.
You may be curious which brands I prefer…well the UK ones (especially the Marmite…no other brand comes close)…but then I grew up with them so I guess my palate is adjusted to them. 🙂
Whose job is it anyway? Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com
A little while back, I decided I’d conduct a sort of experiment. It sometimes occurs to me that I seem to spend far more time trying to maintain contact with friends and family than is true of the reverse. In all honesty, I don’t think this was any different before I moved to New Zealand from the UK but you had the buffer of seeing people occasionally there.
What was my experiment, I hear you ask? Well, I thought I’d not instigate contact with anyone for a month and see if anyone contacted me, knowing full well that I might not like the result.
And the upshot…I was actually pleasantly surprised. I think the final count was seven contacts (including one family member). Now, put that into perspective with the number of channels which could be utilised by people…Wordpress, Messenger, WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, Text, Telephone, Email, Letter (to name a few)…hmmm…maybe seven isn’t too great after all.
Did I learn anything from this experiment? On reflection, not really, but it does reinforce the fact that friendship should be a two-way street and that I shouldn’t be afraid to not be sending messages that often because true friends will remain friends whatever happens. And family won’t change behaviours whatever you say or do… 🙂
I thought I’d let you know, in case you read and enjoyed my first novel, “Baabaric”, that my second novel, “Stoned”, is released on 25th May.
“Stoned” is the sequel and is the second episode in the Annals of Nether-Staining. It is comedy sci-fi set in a farming community in North Yorkshire.
Click here for Amazon ordering information for “Stoned”…
If you haven’t read “Baabaric” yet, you might like to get involved as this is free from 23rd to 27th May. So click here for “Baabaric”.
I spotted this poster (on an A4 piece of paper which was stuck to the wall of a corridor, I might add) in the entrance to the library of a local educational establishment. It tickled me…largely because the intended target group for the message are unlikely to be reading said poster at all…this is what happens when someone designing posters doesn’t understand people very well…
How Long Does Yours Last? Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com
I’ve always been the sort of person to look after the things I own. I don’t like to buy things for the sake of it as a rule…and certainly not in the annual cycle that technology companies would have us believe is what we need. After several years of ownership I was thinking recently how many items I have wherein the battery seems to be starting to fade away…mobile phone, electric toothbrush, electric razor, hair clippers etc.
It occurred to me how disappointing it feels when something dies on you, and how much of our lives now seem to be spent on charge! It’s bizarre when you think about it…we have to continually have something charging. I asked Oral B about whether you can replace the battery for the toothbrush and was told that you can’t because they are a sealed unit and that I should just leave it on charge all of the time…does that seem ridiculous to anyone else?
I saw recently that Dyson have stopped developing corded vacuum cleaners so I guess batteries are very much seen as the future rather than the past…but they don’t quite seem sufficient to do what is needed long term…and with electric cars, they just don’t have the range to be entirely practical either…yet. It is a strange place we find ourselves in.