Marketing Room 101

This week in the Purple Robot office, we have been discussing what marketing concepts and terms we would put into our Marketing Room 101.

If you haven’t heard of Room 101, it is a TV series inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. In the show, celebrities discuss their pet hates and convince the host to put their hate into Room 101, never to be seen again.

In this blog, we discuss some of our marketing dislikes, and you, the reader will be the judge of which concept/term goes into Room 101… simply cast your vote at the bottom of the page.


Damien – Marketing is the colouring in department

All marketers, either agency or client side, will have no doubt heard well meaning, and sometimes not so well meaning, colleagues and clients claim that “marketing is just the colouring in department” or “marketing just makes things look pretty”.

Essentially, it comes from the same place; a complete lack of understanding of what value marketing can genuinely add. This is either due to naivety, colleagues dressing comments up as “office-banter”, or occasionally down-right disrespectful behaviour by those who should simply know better.

For some marketers, it is simply their own fault because they prioritise marketing outputs, that is making promotional fluff, over strategic outcomes, those things that deliver for the whole business.

However, this is simply not true for most marketers; by us being better, more will either see the value we add, less will have ammunition to say such things or they will become lone voices within the rest of the business.

Only then, can we finally consign this ridiculous view to the Marketing Room 101.

Izzy – Fast Fashion Frenzy

As we are all aware, fast fashion causes huge environmental issues. To make these matters even worse, these fast fashion brands offer huge flash sales of up to 99% off over the Black Friday weekend. This type of marketing strategy is used by several brands-based on consumers impulsive buying behaviours, how can they really say no to a cheap dress? These flash sales only promote unsustainable consumption and perpetuate the cycle of overproduction. This low pricing fuels the idea that clothing is disposable so after it has been worn a handful of times, it will only end up in landfill.

Olly – “Recommended” Settings in Ad Campaigns

It’s very common for those who don’t understand Ad campaigns on search engines/social media platforms to use the platforms ‘recommended’ settings when they first start. Usually, these ‘recommended’ settings are also the ones that will make you empty your pockets the fastest (conveniently enough!) I understand that Google & Facebook are businesses, and they need advertisers to make a profit, I just wish there was more transparency on what each setting does, so users have a better understanding of where their money is being spent. After all, if their campaigns are successful and cost-effective, they are likely to use the platform for advertising in the future.

Sophie – Do not be fooled, you can have bad publicity

A quote that I hear regularly by marketers and non-marketers alike is “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” This quote completely disregards the countless number of unfortunate businesses which have had to face fatal consequences as a result of bad publicity. It can take years to re-adjust the reputation that the bad publicity gave them. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. If not, Volkswagen cheated on their government emissions test and sent out millions of cars which had emissions that were 40 times the legal limit. Customers were outraged about this information and their brand is still feeling the effects of this mistake 7 years on.

Ross – We need an honest picture

We all recognise the powerful effect imagery can have in causing a reaction or emotion in ourselves, but how much can we trust the images we see?

Photos have always had the ability to be altered into what the individual wants you to see. An example of this is cropping people out to give a different narrative to an image.

For me, the worst example of photo editing is the Photoshopping of people, especially to remove perceived imperfections. Whether in fashion, beauty photography or even sports promotional imagery, individuals can have their skin or features altered to fit a perceived normality of beauty or perfection.

This is also increasingly common with Instagram and the filters available on the app, and the rise of Influencers using the platform promoting the ideal lifestyle and look.

I would like to see filters and Photoshopping of people’s image to be put into Room 101 to give us all a realistic view of those around us.


So, which of our marketing pet hates would you banish to the Marketing Room 101?

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