Is personalisation really any good?

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A tweet in my time line caught my eye last week. Someone I follow was calling out Sainsbury’s for giving her an offer for pork sausages, despite her having bought kosher margarine recently.

What surprised me more was Sainsbury’s explanation.

Their claim that vouchers are generated randomly smelt distinctively of the horseshit variety.

Holy grail

The holy grail of modern marketing is being able to send such hyper-targeted communications and offers to customers that they continually return to your brand on a never-ending, subliminal journey of discovery and purchase.

The reality – as the above example shows – is somewhat different. Continue reading

10 things I’ve learned from appearing on TV quiz shows

The Mastermind chair

This Friday one small personal life goal will be achieved, as BBC2 airs my appearance as a competitor on Mastermind.

Ever since I realised at a relatively young age that I had the ability to absorb and regurgitate a large number of (mainly) useless facts, I’ve wanted to appear and sit in the big black chair.

However, this isn’t my first appearance on a TV quiz show – oh no. 

Since my fledgling outing on Blockbusters as a callow 17-year-old, I have bothered the schedules on a number of occasions, with varying degrees of success. Continue reading

Are we all inherently racist?

refugees2016 has been a funny old year. In the UK, much of the focus has been on the number of famous people who have died during the first half of the year (many unexpectedly, eg Prince, Bowie).

However, the event with possibly the longest-lasting consequences – in the UK at least – was the vote to leave the EU, ie Brexit.

As close as the final outcome was (52% v 48%), the result could have hardly been considered a surprise.

And the underlying reason is clear: racism.

“Some of my best friends are brown/black (delete as appropriate)…”

When challenged about their prejudices, most people vehemently deny the obvious with one of those stock phrases… “…but Mushtaq in the corner shop and I are great mates…”

They’re part of the vernacular, phrases that just trip off the tongue… and yet they’re pure lies. The kind of falsehoods we all rely on.

But what’s changed? Why have we become – as a nation – so racist? Continue reading