Sable&Hawkes

Blog

What lies beneath. Incidents and accidents, hints and allegations.

Oh and a stack of articles and best practice pieces for anyone interested in brand, marketing, graphic design or communication.

All thoughts our own. All opinions welcome.

A 3 minute read and a personal tale of rugby socks and marketing

This is a quick recap of a recent purchase (and subsequent marketing) scenario:

  1. I wanted a new pair of Northampton Saints rugby socks so I found a site and bought my socks

  2. And could buy without ‘joining’, creating an account or becoming a member

  3. I also ticked the box that politely asked not to be sent any further marketing related emails

  4. And got a '£10 off your next purchase’ email which was a nice bonus

  5. All I had to do was click a button and enter my email to prove I had just made the previous purchase

  6. So I did to be then told, after I had entered my email address that the offer was applicable ONLY if I spent over £100 (a completely new, highly relevant and up to that point un-communicated fact)

  7. And I was now successfully registered with them and could look forward to further offers

  8. So I unsubscribed immediately

Apart from deliberately with-holding relevant information in order to get me to hand over my email address, apart from not taking no for an answer and using quite frankly underhand tactics to get me to agree to something I had already indicated I did not want to do, its just all so tedious.

From Amazon’s “oh we are sorry you signed up for Prime by mistake" to another of my latest "aaarghhhh!!!!” moments when I paid 50p to some DVLA-branded official site to get my car MoT date details, only to find it was nothing official at all and I had signed up to a monthly fee of £6 for precisely bugger all…. why are we so willing and so determined to screw each other over?

And where in all this sock related, Amazon (I am now so paranoid I am signing up to Prime by mistake my purchase time on Amazon has doubled) driving, auto-MoT related nonsense does the line between scam and marketing lie?

I don’t know, the car thing was a scam, totally, the socks, that's underhand marketing pure and simple, Amazon, just big bullies with incredible budgets and technical know-how behaving in such a (deliberately clever and confusing) way just because they can.

And it left me all just a little bit more grumpy and weary with the world of marketing, my world. That’s the depressing bit. Still, I guess I got the socks.

Adrian Kimpton