Monday, February 15, 2016

Marketing b*llocks!! (Literally.) "Camel Balls" bubble gum - a branding case study

I saw these sweets being sold in the independent shop at the end of my street. I had to take a picture.

Look tasty, don't they.

Yep, that's right, bubble gum "Camel Balls". I stuck the photo on Facebook with predictable results from adults who were stunned by it and the one teenager who commented saying they were "actually surprisingly good".

In a way, I kind of admire their marketing. These are not sweets for grown ups. No Lindor master confectioner swirling delicious creamy chocolate in a bowl here. No, instead we have a pervy looking camel ready to teabag us with his over-sized camel nads. (Strangely no penis. Perhaps not so strangely...)

I can imagine teenage boys in particular taking great delight in these, and in that sense they are brilliantly marketed. They are deliberately gross - why else the emphasis on being "liquid-filled"? - but they are just about borderline indecent to be amusing rather than out and out offensive. The company know who they are aiming for and they just about manage to do it without making parents testy and writing outraged letters to the paper.

I also love the additional selling points tagged onto the box. These are gluten free, folks. Gluten free! Because the last thing you'd want to have to check is the small print on a camel ball bag to find that out.

What can we learn from this? Know your market and pitch to them. This isn't a product for everyone. And if you are going to be 'gross', then you might as well be as gross as possible. Even though the sweets look disgusting (to me), I like the way the marketing doesn't hold back at all.

Please leave a comment with your thoughts

Read another blog about marketing: The psychological basis for what makes a TV ad memorable
Also: Branding brilliance: How to make your Death Metal band stand out

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