Dear McVities Brand Manager, you’re wasting money

(this is one for the Integrated Planners / ISP members out there) 

I popped into my local Sommerfield today to pick up some stuff for lunch. And I saw a great example of why in-store marketing (when its actually done in-store by a store’s prefered supplier) doesn’t work.

Properly done, with an engaging creative theme and executed by trained and experienced staff, sampling activity at store level can be really effective in both driving sales on the day and turning triallists into loyal customers.

But some pissed off looking girl wondering round the store with a plate of broken biscuits “d’ya wanna try one?” is hardly going to produce a sales uplift.

The McVities stand was dirty (and mostly deserted), two products aimed at different occasions and target audiences were being promoted (new healthyish Yog Fruit digestives and indulgent chocolate caramel digestives) and I saw the Sommerfield staff nicking biscuits off the plates when they thought no-one was looking.


The promotions girl was also diligently breaking every choccy caramel digestive into two or three pieces for sampling, creating an impressive plate of carameley melted chocolate mess.  As an encore, she wiped the stand top clean of crumbs with the palm of her hands in their ‘food hygiene’ gloves then went straight back to the onerous task of breaking biscuits.


 (“we’re busy breaking biscuits, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do”)

According to my colleagues in the Promotional Marketing/Sales Promotion team, when you take into account staff costs, product, leaflets etc, today’s efforts will have cost McVities about £400 .  Multiply that by the three hundred stores its probably running in and you’ve just wasted £120,000.

4 thoughts on “Dear McVities Brand Manager, you’re wasting money

  1. I suppose the lesson here is not to promote a product that the store’s staff find desirable. Only promote horrible stuff. Oh, hang on…

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