Name changes are notoriously tricky for big brands, but after some lengthy internal conversations and soul searching Mars – the owner of (the rice brand formerly known as) Uncle Ben’s – have decided that it after almost eighty years it is no longer comfortable with the use of racist tropes in its branding.
Announcing Uncle Ben’s slowpoke rebrand to Ben’s Original Mars said that the move will “create a more inclusive future while maintaining our commitment to producing the world’s best rice”. Two noble endeavours indeed. Wisely and sensitively place side by side.
If you don’t know, historically ‘Uncle’ and ‘Auntie’ were terms pejoratively assigned to black people in the US as an alternative to the more formal and respectful ‘Mr’ or ‘Miss’, which makes it even more astonishing that it took until September 2020 for the name to be changed.
There is no doubt that the previous name was untenable, but after months of racial protests across the US the burning questions is: “Mars, what took you so long?”.
The sausage-roller skating squad
Greggs, creative marketing juggernaut and legendary purveyors of the pasty, have been keeping marketing round-up columns in trousers for several years. Now they have teamed up with Just Eat to trial a roller skate delivery service irresistibly name the Sausage-roller Skating Squad.
Whilst it is undoubtedly mostly a gimmick, the initiative is a response to road closures across London leading to difficulties fulfilling deliveries with traditional couriers.
So, if you are near Ludgate Hill and Palmer Street give the unusual delivery service a try. It’s just a trial at the moment, but someone from Just Eat who sounds very fun has said that if successful, the service will be considered for further ‘roller out’.
Wear a mask.
The mask debate? Is it even a debate? Is it not more precise to describe it as a well-documented and proven piece of scientific advice ignored by people who largely do not hold scientific qualifications?
Despite the fact that a huge proportion of the global population relies on social media for news, its biggest companies are famously reluctant to get involved to stop harmful misinformation spreading like wildfire amongst the pictures of food and cats.
This week, Twitter has stuck is head above the parapet to encourage users to wear masks and stymie ‘caution fatigue’. Taking a light-hearted approach, the social media giant has placed user tweets on advertising hoardings across the US including “‘hey, nice mask’ the new pickup line?” and “People who wear masks are considered more attractive remember that,”.
Let see if the message gets through to one of Twitter’s more infamous users.
And whilst we’re on headgear, for those that feel masks are unnecessary, it might be worth also reconsidering that tin-foil hat, the benefits of which are highly questionable.