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Posts Tagged ‘celebrity cult’

The media’s full of ‘LFW’ and quite right too – it’s something London’s managed to retain on the international kudos stakes and no matter how hard our bankers seemingly try to screw up the nation’s reputation, creativity continues to flourish!

We had a number of requests for sponsorship support this year which is encouraging in a way considering the folk who must have come to know us through our limited Estethica alliance over the past couple of years.

This year’s ‘beautiful people’ sipping our wonderful water were the guests at the Nolcha Fashion Lounge at the Trafalgar Hotel, held in association with Bel Esprit, Gina Conway AVEDA and AMAKA, all co-ordinated through my lovely friend Lucy at the independent and supreme quality label Tammam. This was one of two events with Gina Conway AVEDA – but the brand is a favourite of mine…

We also assisted the extremely well patronised Ecoluxe Show held at One Aldwych and opened by Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez along with an entourage of journalists… The Ecoluxe event showcased some of the worlds foremost and celebrated ethical designers, hence the celebrity vistors who tend to know their stuff… 

And at an altogether more sedate pace we’ve again worked with our good friends Sam and Valerio over at Gallery Fumi in Tabernacle Street and at their private space on Hoxton Square.

There were other visitors sampling Aquapax at some of the more discrete shows in town, but if I write about those, they’d lose some of their intimacy next year… 😉

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yours truly with the maestro Paul Rankin & his Aquapax

yours truly with the maestro Paul Rankin & his Aquapax

As always, there’s been a lot going on in Aquapax world over the past few weeks. It’s the silly season of shows at weekends and store samplings mid week, so taking a holiday has been the furthest thing from my mind, despite jovial e-mails from folk who read my blog wondering when I’m back.

We had a really successful 3 day Hatfield House Country Show this year, where the good fortune of being positioned next to Miles (the curry sauce man) certainly raised our sampling customer numbers. There was a special atmosphere in the Food Hall, as a few of us took turns at broadcasting the Ashes criscket score to visitors (and one another), causing spontaneous nervous laughter and the occassional ripple of applause. A particularly uplifting moment of the show was when an off duty representative of a well known supermarket engaged with me on why I created Aquapax, leading to an exchange of cards towards the end of the conversation… (watch this space)

The bank holiday weekend just gone was less illustrious, as we took a last minute stand in the Food Hall at the Stoneleigh Park Festival. The event has so much potential, but alas the Food Hall wasn’t laid out terribly well… Life is what we make of it, and in this instance, the time we had as ‘traders’ allowed us to get to know one another socially. The ‘Dunkirk spirit’ kicked in and the ‘celebrity chefs’ coordinated by the professionals at ‘chefs on stage’  were generous in their support of all the trade at the show, encouraging the public to engage and sample our wares. There are a lot worse ways to spend a bank holiday weekend and I’m grateful for the spontaneous social time ‘Neil waterguy’ spent with ‘Curry Sauce John’ & ‘Chocolate Heaven Lucy’.

Speaking of chefs, I met a wonderful Chef called Claire Harbron and get on with her like a lost friend. We’ve got a great alliance going with her and her fellow professionals at the dalston kitchen. They create the iconic ‘dk’ lunch boxes seen at the best photo shoots and outdoor events across town, where it’s a fantastic accolade they’ve chosen Aquapax as their water in the box! Kind of sums up their quality proposition really, which shouldn’t be any surprises for anyone who’s tried Aquapax.

Got a lot more web work to do in the coming weeks with my webtech friend Ian. We’ve discovered a typo on our French site (read carefully) and we also need to create a page for our new Dutch distribution alliance. Also want to plan the site development as the revolution is growing now and I really want to communicate that growth to keep our new recruits smilling. In the meanwhile, here’s something else to keep you smiling – our latest internet advertisement ‘the guillotine’ It’s all go in water world… 🙂

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I had a mailing from Datamonitor (the research people) on Thursday, offering a series of research reports, one of which is headed ‘The Cult of Celebrity’.

Their sales pitch includes the following ridiculous (imho) statement that “Voyeurism has achieved a level of acceptability and marketers need to meet consumers’ needs for accessibility and information on celebrity endorsee”.

The scope of the report apparently includes “Insights into how and why celebrity remains a powerful tool in a marketing context, along with assessments of its limitations and challenges.” And most importantly (please forgive my sarcasm) “Strategic conclusions and actionable recommendations on effectively harnessing the power of celebrity endorsement and branding”.

To me, celebrities who endorse goods for cash are often prostitutes by any other name; degrading skills or any ability they may have unworthily for incongruous personal financial gain.

To me, a product’s integrity has to be the hero and that’s the stance we’re taking. Aquapax is ‘one of the purest natural mineral waters on the planet’ – our brand communicates honestly and stands up on its own as ‘a pure thirst for the environment’ referencing its more ecologically aware package and light (carbon balanced business) footprint on the planet. Having to support an inadequate product proposition by using someone else with no real connection to the product is not somewhere I really want us to go.

SO what else happened Thursday? Well it was world environment day, but you had to look really hard to find anyone who knew… We sent out press releases full of anticipation, referencing how we’re carbon balancing our business impact and the amount of energy a carton of water saves versus an oil based plastic bottle or a pretentious glass bottle (complete waste of carbon) – generally highlighting how we’re working at making a real difference.

A baby emu made the no. 2 item on BBC national TV news on Thursday! Not only was our PR not picked up, I didn’t notice any others on the world environment day subject either. Maybe I should have dropped Mark Corbett’s recent reference to me as ‘swimming against the flow like a returning salmon’ into the press release – I like the noble analogy and that may even have caught a research assistant’s eye.

I find it quite sad – not because our genuine ecological efforts didn’t make the news; journalists appear to have moved on from a subject they don’t really understand or want to spend time researching to more familiar ‘journalistic’ territory of sensationalistic drivel. Where is the next Kate Webb? We need you to write and stir our conscience on this very real subject – not just on world environment day, but constantly, until the message gets through!

A few other things happened on Thursday – some are only shared with those who know me personally – I am SO happy (and exhausted) right now 🙂 . I also did another in-store demo at Whole Foods Market in High Street Kensington, where we had a few export enquiries from North American visitors and 2 more interesting people wanting to understand the ‘potential investment opportunity’. Who needs trade shows – people are people first and if you’re in their frame of reference, they seem to find you.

The final thing I’ll mention was the beginning of something I foresee as a potentially wonderful future with a design guy named Tom. He and his fellow designers had spotted Aquapax in the Sunday Times Style magazine – they ‘get it’ and they’ve approached us to help others ‘get it’ too. Following my intuition makes decisions relatively easy, so watch this space – we plan on helping them (& us) become famous… oh yes, when we are, I promise not to do any celebrity endorsements without all the proceeds going to charity.

Keep smiling – even a lemon tastes good after tequila.

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