Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

“London commuters took offence at its sexist slogans”


A tongue-in-cheek ad campaign for video conferencing firm Powwownow –  has been attacked with graffiti

The push, featuring an obnoxious and ostentatious character who claims that he likes “his coats mink, truffles white, and secretaries Swedish” has been running throughout February in a range of media, including national press, tube cars, radio and online.

But some of the ads have been defaced, with comments such as “My woman is not a commodity” and “Fur whore”.

Denying the campaign is just a publicity stunt – or even a set-up – to raise awareness, Powwownow marketing manager Casey Williams said:  

“The stir the creative is causing reaffirms that we’ve achieved cut through in an extremely crowded market, even if that has meant we’ve ruffled a few feathers of animal lovers, feminists and people with more money than sense along the way.

 “The character is meant to be as archaic and out of touch as possible to provide an absolute contrast to the voice of reason that is Powwownow.”

Gyro Manchester executive creative director Peter Davis added that the strategy was designed to court with controversy: “If our character is already causing widespread offence then many people won’t like some of the things we have planned for him – this is only the beginning. “We all have preconceptions about free services – ‘if it’s free, it must be bad’. To confront this idea, we’ve created an obnoxious fictional businessman that spends money lavishly and dislikes anything that’s free – especially Powwownow.

“Our “more sense than money” campaign drives the idea that actually, you don’t have to pay a premium to get a great quality service.”

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