Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Carmi’s Thematic Photographic challenge this week is to find pictures to fit the theme ‘branded’. So, I went with the obvious, and it was quite unsettling to find that I could quickly amass a collection from my albums, without having to venture from the computer. Some were taken within the last couple of weeks. How often do we unwittingly contribute to a marketing campaign or provide free advertising? I draw the line at buying tee-shirts which are blatant adverts for a company or business, but it’s so easy to contribute to the subliminal messaging system, just by accepting a store bag with a logo to tout around town. Who wants to ferret in their handbag or pocket for a scrumpled-up, over-used carrier bag to stuff that nice shirt in, risking the raised eyebrows and curled lip of the shop assistant? I remember my parents being shocked, as long ago as the early 60s when they read Vance Packard’s ‘Hidden Persuaders’, a book which explores the manipulative techniques used by advertisers to induce a desire for products; tactics also used to promote politicians to the electorate. The book rightly questioned the morality of doing so. More than fifty years later those same techniques have been refined to the point of sophistication, assisted by advances made in technology.

As Carmi says:
We're surrounded by never-ending pressure to buy stuff, with advertisers and marketers finding ever new ways to get ever more aggressive messages in front of our eyes, around our ears and even inside our heads.
Yes, it’s inside our heads! Well here’s my contribution for this week. I hope they don’t burn too deeply into your sub-conscious.

My lovely daughter proudly displays her purchase from her favourite store on Lanzarote, and demonstrates her above average intelligence by ‘reading’ an intellectual magazine.

Alcohol is probably one of the most successful items in the product placement world. It’s not the chef who is the star here. nor is it his barbecue, but the powerful logo emblazoned cleverly on the outside so that you can’t miss the message whichever way up you are!  Whilst the name of the beer on the picture on the right is very much in the foreground, my husband is also sporting a brand of a different kind and demonstrating his proud association with the aero industry.

This picture sums up the power of branding, when a successful computer game spawns a whole legion of spin-off toys, and other items, which become ‘must-haves’ for an entire generation. My Dad was merely acting as guardian to my grandson’s two treasured toys. I wonder what 32 year-old Blue Bunny is thinking of his angry red companion. Whatever happened to 'sweet and adorable’ in the soft toy market?

And for a bit of nostalgia, here’s me thirty six years ago, just back from my honeymoon and getting down to the business of papering the walls of our new house. That plastic pinny got quite a lot of use as I remember, as the house was in need of a makeover, but did it make me want to buy Camp Coffee essence? Now, that is the question.

For more top-brand pictures why not visit other participants to see how they’ve interpreted Carmi’s theme?


  1. Interesting. I'll be thinking about this, the next time I'm carrying or wearing something with a brand name on it. By the way, Camp coffee is still popular with us, especially when made with hot milk, after a Winter walk. I blame my grandparents.

    1. Well of course it's the only thing to use in coffee cake and to pour over ice cream. My mother-in-law once asked a waitress for 'some more of that delicious sauce'; the waitress happy complied and trotted out with a bottle of Camp! When I was a child my mother always made elevenses with Camp; in fact I don't remember 'instant' coffee granules or powder in the fifties and sixties - I suppose it existed.

  2. Oh you did a perfect job of unleashing the branded sense, with lovely family photos actually. I have to laugh at the beloved Angry Bird though, that we too have treasured dearly, from a not so long ago invented game, using up precious phone charges, and imagine seeing that it's right there in your lovely Lanzarote, but then that is how great marketing works right?! Thanks for such great photos (I love that apron!) and the stories you shared, quite fun!

  3. You have given me and my wife a nasty turn. The photo of you Dad could be an older version of me. The likeness is uncanny! Now I have forgotten what I was going to say about your brands - perhaps it was the sight of a cool beer on the hottest day we've had this year.

  4. What a brilliant post! I loved this glimpse into your photograph archive - simple yet clever and captivating. Every picture tells a story, but I must say, the Angry Birds photo really had me sold!

  5. Hi Nell, first of all, I sure did enjoy seeing you and your family in this post. You are right on with your article too. I remember when the sugared breakfast cereal ads were all over the place on Saturday morning, though we probably didn't have tee shirts for Tony the Tiger back then.

    I'll be back to see you soon, we are getting ready to take off. I still need to read your feature article and this week's SS.

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

  6. I will take a pint of Dorada over a pint of Frothy Fosters any day.

  7. Whatever happened to 'sweet and adorable’ in the soft toy market?

    ANGRY BIRDS, that's what!

    Nice essay, Little Nell.

  8. I remember the Camp Coffee pinny when we were kids. I also remember drinking a lot of Camp Coffee!