Intermarché – The Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables (Les Fruits and Légumes Moches)

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Intermarché – The Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables (Les Fruits & Légumes Moches)

One of the most notable international marketing campaigns in recent years was not only imaginative, but also shared a environmentally-friendly message. Marcel WW launched a campaign for Intermarché, a French super market, back in 2014 that changed the way consumers thought about produce. “To fight against food waste, Intermarché, the 3rd largest supermarket chain in France, decided to sell (30% cheaper) the non-calibrated and imperfect fruits and vegetables: “the inglorious fruits and vegetables” (marcelww). These imperfect fruits and vegetables are usually rejected by consumers, wasted, and thrown away by supermarkets. This contributes to a growing percentage of food waste internationally. The goal was to rebrand “inglorious” fruit, “Intermarché launched a massive global campaign to rehabilitate and glorify them”(marcelww).  

Marcel’s campaign of “Les Fruits et Légumes Moches”, aimed to shed light on the issue of food waste and to educate consumers to make more environmentally-conscious decisions. It spread the message that even though the “inglorious” produce is not perfect, it tastes just the same and provides the same amount of nutrients. This marketing campaign included discounted inglorious produce displays, inglorious fruit juice and soup samples for cautious consumers, as well as print, billboard, tv, radio, and social media advertising. The idea took off, and the sustainable message touched the hearts of people worldwide. People all over the world spread the message on TV news broadcasts, print and online news articles, blog posts, personal social media sites, and private messages to friends.

Why was the campaign so shareable? Not only was the rebranding campaign socially and environmentally responsible, it was also comedic and visually eye-catching. The inglorious fruits and vegetables were portrayed in a way that is reminiscent of caricature portraits of movie characters. Each edible character was given its own offbeat name, personality, and tagline. “A Grotesque Apple”, “The Ugly Carrot”, and “The Failed Lemon” were uniquely shaped, but were under the spotlight and showcased as if they were flawless celebrities. The Inglorious campaign was the perfect combination of funny, witty, unique, and socially responsible that caused it to be spread virally. As noted on the Marcel WW website, the message of the campaign reached 21 million people after only one month. The Inglorious Fruits & Vegetables campaign was the “1st most shared article in the history of LSA (N°1 professional French retailer magazine)” and there were “1.2 Tons of sales per store on average during the first 2 days, resulting in a 24% increase in overall store traffic” (marcelww). In the following excerpt, Marcel Worldwide describes the results of the campaign:

In October 2014, Intermarché was elected “champion of advertising innovation” in France (Source: Advertising Innovation Observatory 2014, runned by Dufresne Corrigan Scarlett, Influencia and Opinion Way). In February 2014, the “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” campaign was elected as the French favourite campaign of the year. (Source: Ipsos Public Awards). Last but not least, this campaign was a real lever to change the whole category. Following our path 3 big French retailers launched their own ugly fruits and vegetables aisle: Auchan, Monoprix and Leclerc under the name “les Gueules Cassées.” International similar initiatives also emerged, following our campaign.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables campaign and the story of the popular campaign continues to spread internationally through social media. In all, the popularity of the campaign has not only improved the international brand awareness of Intermarché, but has also helped educate consumers and reduce the waste of the many almost-perfect fruits and vegetables.


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Did you notice the boys in this classroom?

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In November of 2015, a YouTube video by Japanese personal care and beauty company, Shiseido, went viral.

The video depicted a classroom of female Japanese students as the camera panned across the room and focused in on the girls, only pausing to zoom in on a book in the last girl’s hands. The page reads, “did you notice the boys in this classroom?” Pulling back, the camera pans across the screen again, this time sped up, revealing teams of makeup artists and hair stylists returning the girls to their natural state: male. Wigs are un-pinned, makeup is un-applied, wall dressings re-hung, and books are re-opened onto the desks around the boys. The video ends with a smirk from the now-male teacher entering the room.

Director, Show Yanagisawa, and Creative Director, Masato Kosukegawa, set out to demonstrate the power of Shiseido’s products, and they did so with a captivating element of surprise. The video is also just plain cool, appealing to young men and women, as well as the LGBTQ audience among young people and specifically students.

Founded in 1872, Shiseido is a 144 year old multinational company specializing in skin care, hair care, cosmetics, and fragrance with over $105 million in revenue and over 33,000 employees. Despite its presence as such an established company producing high revenue and representing a significant number of employees, which historically can slow a company down, Shiseido remains flexible and innovative. On Shiseido Group’s corporate Shiseido at a Glance page, the company identifies its longterm vision as becoming a “multicultural company,”  “filled with energy” and “overflowing with youthfulness.” With this video, Shiseido takes a step towards that goal by pushing the boundaries of marketing and promising to represent today’s society.

And Shiseido isn’t the only company pledging to represent society and promote equality. Other brands challenging gender stereotypes today like Brawny (#StrengthHasNoGender) and Always (#LikeAGirl), will soon be joined by the Unilever lineup. The company recently announced an addition to their Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to ensure gender equality and promote female empowerment among its brands. Many stakeholders may argue that a company’s obligation is to its financial stability and long-term profit. However, Unilever operates according to the philosophy that promoting health and equality and operating sustainably is of crucial importance to creating long-term profit. Even formal studies have concluded that when advertisers create and perpetuate gender stereotypes, they harm gender equality and society at large (Opplinger, 2007).

At a panel event at the Festival of Marketing on October 5, 2016, Aline Santos, SVP of Global Marketing at Unilever, stated, “If we unstereotype women we might be stereotyping men, and that is something we don’t want to do. It’s about unstereotyping people [and] not just defining [them] by gender.” So on that note, I personally applaud Shiseido for their dedication to representing global society and cultural change, while also pointing out that the boys are surrounded by open books, wall hangings, and a guitar, while the girls are simply posed, lounging in a bare, white-walled classroom.


Chahal, M. (2016, November 04). Gender stereotyping is about people not just women. Retrieved February 06, 2017, from

Oppliger, P. Effects of gender stereotyping on socialization. In: Preiss RW, Gayle BM, Burrell N, Allen M, Bryant J, editors. Mass media effects research: Advances through meta-analysis.Mahway: Lawrence Erlbaum; 2007. pp. 199–214.

Shiseido Co., Ltd. (n.d.). Shiseido at a Glance. Retrieved February 08, 2017, from

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Airbnb’s Aggressive International Expansion

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Airbnb, a home sharing two-sided online platform, is shaking up the hotel industry and rapidly expanding internationally. Airbnb is one of the many new platform-based companies that have harnessed the power of online communities to drive international growth. As an online platform that pairs consumers with homeowners looking to rent their spaces, Airbnb has been able to enter foreign markets with relatively little investment, since the company does not own the properties that are listed for rent on the site. After its founding in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb has grown exponentially, with “hosts in more than 35,000 cities and 191 countries. The amount of total guests using Airbnb has surpassed 60 million in 2015” (Mylotrade, 2016). Airbnb now has international offices in Spain, Germany, China, Ireland, England, Italy, India, France, Brazil, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Canada, and in several strategic locations within the United States. Their famous tag line, “Don’t Go There. Live There.” has targeted the millennial generation, encouraging travelers to truly experience cities by “living there” in a local’s accommodations, as opposed to staying in an expensive cookie-cutter, standardized hotel room.

An Airbnb listing in Paris, France
An Airbnb listing in Paris, France

Airbnb has created a new way to travel and experience a foreign destination while allowing customers from different market segments to choose their price limits and preferred level of privacy. Savvy Airbnb travelers can book anything from a budget-friendly shared rooms to luxurious private homes or even medieval castles!

Airbnb’s popularity has grown enormously since its founding in 2008. Its two-sided online platform benefits both the homeowners and the renters, providing Bed and Breakfast owners the ability to reach a huge amount of potential customers while supplying unique lodging options for customers with many different specifications. Airbnb’s ability to serve both sides of their online community has attracted more and more buyers and sellers over the years. The Airbnb online platform has benefited greatly from a “network effect”, since the service Airbnb provides increases in value for customers on each of the two sides of the platform as more people join the community. This growing popularity, and the profits earned through fees charged to customers who book through the site, have enabled Airbnb to enter emerging markets and create a global presence. One such market is the newly opened country of Cuba. As discussed in Mylo Trade’s article, Airbnb “continues to expand aggressively into new foreign markets: when Cuba became more open to American businesses last December, Airbnb jumped in. Airbnb already has more than 1,000 listings in Cuba” (Mylotrade, 2016). Michael Weissenstein’s article with the Business Insider stated that Airbnb’s international expansion to Cuba was “the most significant U.S. business expansion on the island since the declaration of detente between the two countries” (Weissenstein, 2015). Airbnb’s rapid international expansion and growing global community is a testament to the power of online platforms in the modern marketplace.

Airbnb expands to Cuba
Airbnb expands to Cuba

The internet’s growing influence through social media and online communities has fueled a rapid globalization of international markets. As the popularity of platforms such as Airbnb increases, worldwide markets will continue to unify into one global competitive market, and the international expansion strategies of existing competitors will be forced to evolve.




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Expanding Globally- developed or developing?

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With great risk comes great reward, but when millions of dollars are on the line relying on the success of a product in a new global market… How much risk should you take? When entering into a developing nation like Africa there is political instability, along with a lack of infrastructure and other things you wouldn’t worry about in a developed nation. This can be especially problematic for food producers because of food safety reasons. How is the food going to be inspected? What if there is lack of refrigeration or proper storage? All this has to be built and adds costs, and adding costs increases the risk.  However the buying power of African consumers is growing and there is great potential for profit. As markets in developed nations become saturated, riskier markets need to be entered but not without careful consideration and proper marketing. According to the article, “83% of African consumers are aware of television advertising, but only 19% are aware of online advertising.” This means the normal social media, and other digital tactics used for marketing in developed nations won’t work here.

For a firm to be successful in introducing a new product in Africa I feel the following needs to be considered:

The product needs to show flavor for local tastes.

The safety of the workers and consumers should be the #1 priority, this can also work to the firm’s advantage because Africans are willing to pay more for companies that advertise social responsibility

The firm needs to show interest and investment in being sustainable for the long term

Proper advertising through visual in store displays and more personal interactions rather than TV and digital advertising, since a lot of Africans are limited to TV and internet.

The firm that is socially responsible, as well as innovative is going to be successful in a developing nation. As resources and land become more scarce, taking these steps in global expansion and sustainability is necessary to feed the world. My hope is that firms will continue to be innovative and more responsible to focus on the long term growth and health of society, and developing nations are often rich in untapped resources. The risk is worth the reward here.

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The Marketing Strategy behind Building a Personal Brand at home and abroad

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Youtubers today cannot be ignored due to their ability to market themselves- they are becoming celebrities just by posting videos of their everyday lives online. American youtube personalities like Jenna Marbles, Michele Phan, Bethany Mota, Blair and Elle Fowler are entering mainstream media and pulling in 6 and close to 7 figures per year in youtube advertising revenue. They are known for their quirky videos and sharing their personal stories on the internet, but most of all- building their brand. In truth, the revenue not only comes from Youtube, but selling personally branded items on the side, such as Jenna Marbles’ plush dogs to resemble her two dogs in real life, Michele Phan’s Ipsy online store subscription service, or Elle and Blair’s store Glitzyglam. But in reality, the marketing machine behind Youtubers in other countries like the UK is much bigger. The highest subscribed user on Youtube Pewdiepie or Felix Kjellberg, has over 32 million subscribers, just because he plays video games and posts videos of himself playing and commenting in real time. Other users like Zoella, Alfie, and Sprinkleofglitter, easily pull in six figures with their book releases and branded items like Beauty lines. How do they garner so many fans when most people over 35 don’t even use Youtube? 

beth Bethany Mota, who is currently on Dancing with the Stars


 Jenna Marbles, who loves poking fun at everyone and everything


 Beauty guru Zoella with her new book

Youtubers are powerful marketers because of one thing: realism or the appearance of it. Even if everything is filmed on a soundstage, the perception that these are genuine people expressing their own opinions is very appealing to most viewers. Most Youtubers also collaborate and support each other, purposely marketing other users on their own channels to boost views. The superstars with books aren’t to be taken lightly either- Zoella’s new bookGirl Online” is set to be the top seller on the UK booklist with a sequel already in the works. These Youtube stars are pulling in large amounts of money for Youtube and Google targeting 13-22 year old women watching youtube for anything from Beauty tips to how-to videos for decorating their dorm rooms or apartments. Viewers also enjoy living vicariously through users as they “daily vlog” their lives, vacations, and any manager-sponsored trips that they take to destinations ranging from the Mediterranean in France, Walt Disney World in Florida during the annual Playlist Live Convention to Dubai to promote a new collaborate multiple-user channel on Youtube. The key to their popularity is building and maintaining their immense online presence, and viewers continue to watch videos that remind them with hard work anyone can reach their level of fame.

These Youtube users are prime advertisers for big companies like Pantene, L’Oreal, Unilever and other personal hygiene and beauty products. Some worry that they are treading a fine line, and now more regulations have come out in relation to advertising– users need to make an obvious disclaimer on their videos when it is sponsored by a company or when they are being paid to endorse and support a product. Recently, some Youtubers were in trouble in the UK for filming games or discussions centering around Oreo, but didn’t outright say that they had been paid to promote the brand.

A new study claims that the top youtube brands have gone from posting a dozen videos per month in 2005 to thousands in one month in 2014. These videos have been responsible for over 9 billion views, which means that viewers are seeing any advertisements played before these videos. The Youtube users themselves mainly make money from Adsense’s Ad revenue, and they make even more when a viewer watching one of the ads before their videos clicks on the ad. However, sometimes this can backfire if Google thinks a fan or a user is inflating their revenue and views by clicking on an advertisement too many times.

I think that however you feel about Youtube, the users that are very popular are definitely moving into mainstream media, and online companies like Youtube are going to be the advertising venues of the future all around the world. When it is becoming increasingly easier for Youtube stars to have cameras follow them around, they are going to continue to make money from sponsorships from daily brands that want to be seen by these Youtuber’s viewers.  What do you think? Is it worth it to invest in using youtubers as advertisers and promoters?


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