Are you being served?

Want to know how to completely cock up your follow through marketing after a major advertising campaign. Simple, get Rick’s attention he’ll do it for you. Lots of people out there selling lots of the same stuff but the winner is the one who cares!


Currys PC World have spent millions on advertising. Most recent campaigns include “Spare the Act” in the run up to last Christmas featuring that US mega star Jeff Goldblum. It was designed by their agency AMV BBDO and it came in at a staggering £10,000,000. I bet they had a great agency Christmas party. It was across all media including TV, Radio, print, Cinema, Video on demand, social media and online, supported by a digital campaign.

Their other ongoing campaign has produced the following strap line “We start with you” again costing millions with their agency. Gary Booker, Dixons/Currys/PC World’s Chief Marketing Officer goes to great lengths to explain that this campaign is all about ‘Customer Experience’ that it’s ‘time to remind customers that they are the heart and the start of the Curry’s PC World experience’ Also to remind themselves that their own colleagues on the shop floor, are day in day out part of that experience. His words not mine, check the video online!!

‘Sounds of screeching brakes, tumble weed blowing through the doors of Currys PC World Folkestone branch as they open automatically for my grand entrance just yesterday’ For those of you that don’t know, I have been confined in my home for almost 4 months now, healing after a very bad accident. Yesterday was a milestone. I actually managed to get out of the house and into my partners car and we went out for lunch. It felt amazing and although my scampi tails were nothing like scampi tails it was great to feel the Indian summer sun on my face. After lunch I was driven to my local Currys store for my ‘we start with you experience’

You see it wasn’t a choice for me. I suffered at the hands of a burglar at the beginning of the year, just another thing that happened during my annus horribilis, actually it’s been around 18 months of horribilisness, I will tell all another time. Part of my claim was for a new lap top and of course not having read the small print on a Churchill policy I would have to accept a voucher that could only be spent at, you guessed it, Currys PC World. Of course the insurance never pays in full so I was looking to at least double my spend which you would think makes me hot property in customer terms. Not according to Rick though.

Bearing in mind that I was excited to be on my first outing, excited to be finally looking at a new lap top and yes damn it, excited to be spending some dosh. Even though I was on my trusty crutches, in some pain (why don’t stores offer seating) I was nonetheless not going to let anyone dampen my enthusiasm, that was until I met Rick !!

Let me explain once again why it is important all you Marketing Gurus out there (Mr Booker included) that it is of fundamental importance that when you are spending millions with your whizz kid agency and coming up with all your fancy ads and strap lines, boasting about the customer experience, you forgot to mention anything to Rick and his co workers !! You see advertising is just a paid for part of marketing, Rick is also part of your marketing but he seems to have been left off the budget spend.

So after being completely ignored for the first ten minutes I stood painfully watching Rick and his cohorts some distance away all conversing and completely ignoring me and the other two customers who were having an experience in other parts of the store. Eventually I heard someone say ‘I think that person needs some help’ with that a burly chap started toward me, when he was 10 paces away he stopped, he seemed to realise that I was standing next to a lap top display, he then said ‘I’ll get someone to help you that knows about them’ Them, meaning lap tops I guessed and that was the start of my short relationship with Rick the dick!

You see Mr Booker, among awkward silences, unanswered questions, a look of complete disinterest, and an expression that said I would rather be anywhere than here. This lap top expert, Rick, knew nothing about the lap top I was interested in, he couldn’t answer any of my questions, he didn’t know how the screen detached so that it could double as a tablet he knew nothing about the offer price or how long that offer would be for. He was utterly useless and yet he was in a prime position to take my £400 voucher along with another £400 cash, did he close the sale, did he heck!

I looked at my bemused partner and silently agreed to limp out of the store before I completely lost the will to live. We decided that we will drive to a larger branch at the weekend to make the purchase I just hope we don’t encounter another Rick!

Maybe it is your wish to lose stores and to go completely online in this new world of ours but you are missing the plot as there are many people that still want to enjoy the physical act of being served by someone, and someone that gives them the confidence to part with their money. When will you learn that advertising goes into marketing because until you do we are going to be deluged with Ricks

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