Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Commercial: Some more Liverpool brand stories

Last year, a quick trip up to Liverpool furnished me with six parables about brand behaviours, examined from unexpected angles.

This year's trip has furnished some more, a bit more random than the previous six:

1) Cath Kidston's book club

Did you know that the purveyor of all things 50s and floral has one of these? I didn't, until Ms Beta dragged me into the one in Liverpool One. Of course, it makes sense that they do, what with the brand being aimed at roughly the same people who took a lot of their reading cues from Richard and Judy's club - and the titles on the web page fit squarely into this category.

But one thing threw me; on the table where they were advertising this, were a number of copies of Lucky Jim. Really? I can only assume someone's gone 'It's set in the 50s...' without necessarily realising that, at one level, Amis was having a fairly howitzer-like go at the very stifling conformity Kidston appears to be hellbent on bringing back elements of.

2) Lewis's Fifth Floor

A celebration of something that has passed rather than is currently extant, the department store was open as late as three months ago, but has now bitten the dust, and from the outside at least, appears to be falling into decay bloody quickly.

But it was always more than a department store, its fifth floor in particular providing a place to see and be seen in the city. This heritage is currently being celebrated in an exhibition at the Conservation Centre, and is well wort a visit for the reminder of the role that even mere, 'umble shops can play in the fabric of a city, and the idea of itself.

3) Philosophy in Pubs

Not commercial I know, but a jolly good idea nevertheless. If I was Routledge, I'd be seeing how I could bung them a bit of cash, and give them special editions of the Modern Classics.



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