How to Create Ill Will
|A very attractive photo via justfit.be|
There is a chain of fitness clubs in Belgium called Just Fit. Their tagline is ‘Simply looking better’, which is a fine example of why one should not attempt a tagline in a foreign language, especially considering how difficult it is to do it well even in one’s native language. Recently, Just Fit’s marketing people have outdone themselves by implementing an extraordinarily cretinous campaign. This one deserves an award.
When we returned from Switzerland, we found a familiar slip amongst the pile of mail, the one that the postman leaves for you to let you know that he tried to deliver a parcel whilst you were away. All the details including the paper size, layout, typeface were exactly as they usually are, except the address for collection. It was Just Fit on Oudaan, in central Antwerp. Since everything else was exactly the same, we thought that the Belgian Post may have started outsourcing parcel collection to a shop, as one can post mail at certain shops. There was actually one other detail that was a bit strange: the slip contained no information on the recipient. However, we thought that the postman simply forgot to fill it in.
The Brunette went to the collection address and queued up behind a few other women clutching a copy of the same slip. The native at the head of the queue found out that she was tricked into picking up an application form to join Just Fit with a first-month-free deal. She got visibly angry. Understandably.
I do not know about Belgium, but in many other countries, it is a criminal offence to impersonate a government agency such as the Post Office, especially when it is done for financial gain, which is clearly the case here. At the very least, one would be subject to a significant fine.
Regardless of legal consequences, deliberately creating ill will amongst the members of public is really rather bizarre. The people who conceived the campaign and those who approved it probably thought that they were being cute, but they really need to have their heads examined.