Oxfam’s campaign does not burn bras but recycles them

May 11, 2012

In the 1960s, there were much-publicised demonstrations involving symbolic burning of bras. Oxfam has found another symbolic way of drawing attention to social inequalities, by recycling bras rather than burning them

Creative marketing

Oxfam’s campaign would have passed me by, but for a piece of creative marketing. The University came up with an unusual way of reminding staff to collect their new pass cards. The email suggested that collection of bras on behalf of Oxfam was being held. This would also be an opportunity for collection of the new pass cards from members of the Personnel team.

Motivational aids?

Surely my marketing colleagues were not exploiting Oxfam’s admirable campaign goal to find a way to induce staff to turn up to get their new pass cards? Were they using the recycling bras tag as a motivation aid to get staff cards to those who hadn’t acted on earlier, less-evocative messages?

I was able to collect my card. I also learned more about Oxfam’s worthy campaign.

Bookie Fred Done has paid out on bets on Manchester United to win the Premier League title. Why?

April 4, 2012

Bookmakers are not known for their charitable gestures. So it’s worth thinking why Betfair owner Fred Done decided to pay out £500,000 to punters who backed Manchester United to win the Premier League again this year, when there were still seven games to be played


Within one game to play, Manchester City were installed as firm favourites…the following suggests an explanation for Fred’s actions.

Original Post

Manchester United fan Fred Done paid up a similar sum in 1998 when United was leading Arsenal by 12 points. The Gunners went on to win the title.

Fred, a long-time United supporter may had been rewarding other faithful fans for backing their team.

On the other hand

Bookies, like scientists, don’t believe in absolute certainties. But they tend to be good at creating marketing opportunities. Fred has converted a near-certain loss of money (which has already been hedged) to a headline in the sports pages drawing attention to his business.

Creative marketing?

It’s why Paddy Power, another book-maker, is offering to refund all bets on other golfers, if Tiger Woods wins the Masters in Augusta, this weekend [April 2012].

You might call both actions creative marketing.