Letters To A Cold Corporation

All these brands are so honest and authentic and friendly and open nowadays, but only few of them get a chance to practise their super-fun customer service message with someone who might concievably write something funny and then post it on Twitter. So if your local friendly global corporate entity wants to get like Sainsburys and Tiger-Giraffe Bread, you better reply to one of my letters. Or just send me some free vouchers.


Eat, Christmas 2011.

Dear Eat,
I love you, I really do. That is why I queued up today to buy a Christmas Full Works sandwich, in the hope of a turkey taste explosion in my mouth. I also got it toasted. For a toasted turkey taste explosion. But there is no point in me paying seventy extra pence – that’s seven shiny silver ten pence pieces or three of those funny shaped twenty pence pieces plus a ten – for you to toast my sandwich if by the time it’s back in my office (a mere five minute walk away) it is cold and flabby. Flabby is rarely a word I associate with sandwiches, but unfortunately it was all that would do this sandwich justice. I can only presume the moistness of the cranberry sauce has absorbed into the cooling bread through the layer of lukewarm turkey and created this inexplicable phenomena, previously unknown to the sandwich world. I might even venture to say your Christmas ‘The Full Works’ sandwich should be renamed ‘The Doesn’t Fully Work’ sandwich. Hahaha. Or ho ho ho. Please stop ruining Christmas.


(Eat sent me £3 worth of vouchers and a boring apology. Thanks, Eat.)

A Smooth Choice

ImageA few months ago, Innocent launched a 160ml smoothie.
It’s a good idea. I’ve always found the last couple of mouthfuls are unnecessary. It’s nice to have the choice of a smaller smoothie that’s conveniently under 100 calories. They’re priced closer to £1 than £2, unlike the bigger version, so seem good value as we do the maths in our head. And they’re being sold as part of supermarket meal deals, so there’s a good commercial reason.

Another great reason might have something to do with framing.

After all, all your choices are made in context. You pick a smoothie by considering it alongside other brands of smoothie, other sizes of smoothie and whether you should give up altogether and buy apple juice. Suddenly, adding this 160ml version makes the usual 250ml version look bigger. It makes the child size version look smaller. It provides another choice of sizes from Innocent to deliberate between – you can now compromise if you’re indecisive on a smaller size.

And it adds an anchor for smoothie prices. The 160ml smoothie is £1.09, the 250ml £1.79. Now you feel smoothies should cost between those ranges – Innocent doesn’t seem unusually priced. It’s not surprising Sainsbury’s own brand smoothies are £1.25, a bit cheaper than the premium Innocent brand, but more expensive than a Coke – they’re pricing within their category.

If only I could find a way to persuade all of London’s coffee shops to stop charging upwards of £2.50 for a latte, just because Starbucks does.